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Kenya's digital revolution continues to exclude women

mwendeDAILY NATION By NANJIRA SAMBULI

When it comes to ICT in Africa, Kenya is rightfully feted as a success story. With impressive connectivity rates, we could genuinely be talking of last-mile connectivity.

The latest quarterly sector statistics report indicates that we are looking at an Internet penetration rate of 87.2 per cent, of which 99.4 per cent is through mobile.

Furthermore, 99.4 per cent of Kenya’s population has access to 2G network services whereas 78 per cent has access to 3G services. 

Yet there is more to the high percentages than meets the eye. First, only 18.6 per cent of Kenyans subscribe to a paid broadband plan, and while 78 per cent have access to 3G coverage, we can't say for sure that it is always reliable or accessible

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Businesses to benefit from e-govt project, says Mucheru

joemucherupxDAILY NATION By JAMES KARIUKI

Wednesday September 07, 2016

More than 41,000 people working in business processing and outsourcing firms are set to benefit from the ongoing digital infrastructure project by the national government, Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said.

Speaking at Kenya School of Government in Kiambu County on Monday, CS Mucheru said more online jobs will be created once all government departments embrace e-government, making information readily available for better decision making on health, agriculture and investment.

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Mt Kenya counties in joint bid to make public information accessible

opendatapixDAILY NATION By CHARLES WANYORO

Monday September 05, 2016

County Governments in Mt Kenya region are working with the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Authority to have a common data sharing platform for easy access to public information.

Representatives from Embu, Kirinyaga, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Nyeri and Nyandarua counties want the data they collect uploaded in the national open data portal.

Speaking after a two-day workshop that ended in Embu town on Saturday, they said they were contemplating on whether to have the data uploaded as a block or each county to upload it’s in the national platform.

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ICT Bill too shallow to effectively regulate nascent technology sector

ICTBUSINESS DAILY By CATHY MPUTHIA

Monday August 29, 2016

Kenya has made a number of strides in reforming its communications law as there are a number of proposed amendments to existing legislation.

In June, an attempt was made in drafting an ICT Bill 2016, which has met a lot of resistance from various stakeholders, including the Information Communications and Technology ministry. It is notable that the Bill did not originate from the parent ministry but from an MP.

The main focus of the Bill is on regulation of the ICT experts through a professional body. It also provides for registration, training and licensing technology practitioners.

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Hackers risk 20-year jail term in proposed law

cybercrimeBUSINESS DAILY By JOHN NGIRACHU

Tuesday, August 23   2016

Hackers will face fines of up to Sh20 million and up to 20 years in jail under a new law to tame cyber crime being prepared by the government, Information, Communication and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said.

Mr Mucheru said the security agencies would need training on how to handle crimes assisted by information technology while judicial officers would also need to upgrade their knowledge of such matters.

He said the punitive punishments are contained in the Computer and Cybercrime Bill, which is being prepared and is yet to be presented to the Cabinet for approval.

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Govt urges public to give views on ICT Practitioners Bill

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has disowned the Bill.

EKDAILY NATION By PATRICK LANG'AT

Friday August 19, 2016

The government has called for consultations over a Bill to regulate information, communication and technology (ICT) practitioners.

Government spokesperson Eric Kiraithe said the public and practitioners still have a chance to share their views on the 2016 ICT Practitioners Bill.

“Our continued position as government, is that this Bill, as currently constituted, is archaic and poses a threat to the ICT industry,” Mr Kiraithe told journalists during a briefing in Nairobi on Thursday.

The Bill proposes that people who want to work in the industry must first be registered.

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Blockchain technology could modernise Kenya’s election

IGF Logov2 lnd thumbDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday August 17,2016

Last week, the eighth national Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held at a Nairobi hotel. It attracted more than 200 participants and was officially opened by ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary Victor Kyalo.

The IGF is a local chapter of the UN-sanctioned global IGF that meets every year to discuss policy relating to how the internet is evolving and governed.

The forum brought together government, the private sector, academia, the media, civil society, technical communities and individual users to deliberate on existing and emerging internet-related matters. I review some of the key issues discussed in this blog.

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The making of a cybercrimes law: A tale of two Bills before Parliament

cybercrimeBUSINESS DAILY By FRANCIS MONYANGO

Monday August 15, 2016

If there is an industry that is hard to regulate, it is information and communication technology. Other than being too dynamic, it is complex. There is a common saying that a year in tech is 90 days.

This means it is an industry which nations all over the world will continue playing chase when it comes to regulation. In Kenya, the legislature has come up with two Bills of similar nature.

Namely, the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill, sponsored by Leader of Majority Aden Duale and the Senate’s Cybercrimes and Protection Bill sponsored by Committee on Information and Technology chairperson Mutahi Kagwe.

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Liquid Telecom begins laying Sh54m fibre optic cables in Kisumu

Fibre-opticBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Friday August 12, 2016

Liquid Telecom Kenya is laying a Sh54 million metro fibre optic network in Kisumu that is expected to boost Internet speeds in the lakeside city ten-fold.

The 12.4km metro network will cover Kisumu central business district, Milimani and Kondele up to Kibos, Kicomi and Migosi junction.

The network will be built in partnership with Kisumu County government and is in line with the goal of transforming the metropolis into a “smart city”.

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Defence CS warns Kenya at risk of cyber attacks

Cyber-securityDAILY NATION By FRED MUKINDA

Thursday August 04,2016

Kenyans are increasingly becoming vulnerable to cyber attacks because of lack of up-to-date safeguards, the Defence ministry warned yesterday.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said the country faces greater risks if counter-measures are not developed faster.

“Cyber attacks are continuously evolving, to a great extent faster than cyber defences. Cyber attacks are diverse, coming from elements seeking to publicise political views, criminal organisations seeking financial gain, terrorist groups seeking to inflict economic or political damage, to state-sponsored intelligence and security organisations,” she said.

Ms Omamo was speaking to senior military, police and Intelligence officers in Nairobi.

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Innovation hubs planned for constituencies

victorBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Wednesday July 27, 2016

The Ministry of ICT in partnership with the Constituency Development Fund Committee intends to roll out innovation hubs in the 290 constituencies across the country offering free Internet.

Information and Communications Principal Secretary  Victor Kyalo says the national rollout follows a successful pilot in Limuru constituency.

Under the partnership, Mr Kyalo said the ICT Ministry will cater for the cost of bandwidth as well as provide technical skills while the CDF committee will undertake the cost of equipment installed at the hubs.

The project is also geared towards augmenting youth empowerment, innovation and creativity, access to online opportunities and research.

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Only technology can make our roads safe - the law has failed

Bitange-NdemoDAILY NATION By BITANGE NDEMO

Tuesday July 26, 2016

The infamous Salgaa black spot is in the headlines once again, after a family of seven perished there. 

In total, this spot on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway has taken several hundred Kenyans and maimed many others. 

It would not be an exaggeration to claim that the number of Kenyans who have died at Salgaa this year equals the number killed by terrorism inside Kenya.

How long will it take for us to live by the idiom “once bitten, twice shy”? This black spot has taken many Kenyan lives, yet we do not take the necessary steps to curb this carnage.

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Counties low budgetary allocation delays automation

DNNakuruLaptops2003dBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK

Friday July 22, 2016

Lack of skilled ICT personnel and low budgetary allocation is hampering the automation of county governments and as a result hitting service delivery, a new report by the Ministry of Information and Communications says.

The report, County ICT roadmaps 2015-2020, unveiled Tuesday said most county governments only allocate one per cent of their budget money on ICT- related projects compared to five per cent that is the global best practice.

The report also noted that in most of the counties, the ICT personnel lacked skills and recommended investment in continuous staff training.

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ICTAK can’t speak for Kenya’s entire ICT sector

DNCAKBOARD3007gDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday July 12, 2016

It is not clear who coined the phrase "Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it". That, however, may be what has just happened.

Two years ago, I blogged about the need to have the ICT sector organised under one legally recognised umbrella body.

I argued that with one strong, representative voice the sector would be able to guide the nation in both prosperous and difficult moments.

Further, I argued that an Act of Parliament would go a long way in ensuring that such a voice was grounded in legislation and therefore may not be easily wished away by current or future governments.

Then out of the blue, Parliament puts out a public announcement that a bill to regulate ICT professionals was out, has undergone the first reading and requires public input before progressing through the subsequent second and third readings.

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Igembe North MP to set up three ICT centres

IgembeSUNDAY NATION By DICKSON MWITI

Sunday July 10, 2016

Three Information Communications Technology (ICT) centres are to be established in Igembe North in Meru County to promote innovation.

Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki said the centers would be established at Mutuati, Laare and Antubetwe towns.

Mr M’Eruaki said the centres would help youth and other learners to adapt to a changing world and promote the sharing of ideas.

“It will enable our people to get information at the right time resulting to high productivity, quality research as well as efficiency in pursuing information from different corners of the world,” he said.

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Bloggers raise storm over draft ICT Bill

blogpicDAILY NATION By JOHN NGIRACHU

Friday July 08, 2016

A proposed law to regulate the Information, Communication and Technology industry has caused outrage, with bloggers and professionals describing it as a severe and suspicious move.

Published on June 7 and sponsored by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, debate is yet to start on the Bill because the Energy, Information and Communication committee has not yet collected views on it.

Mr Duale usually sponsors Bills on behalf of the Executive but the ICT ministry has said that the draft law did not originate from them and it “does not represent the policy position of the government".

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Kepsa eyes piece of Konza techno city in new deal

keppicDAILY NATION By OTIATO GUGUYU

Tuesday July 05, 2016

A Kenyan club of private businesses have penned a deal with Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) hoping to tap into openings that the proposed project can provide, ahead of the launch of the techno city.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) says the agreement will open up opportunities for its members to plug into the country’s growing economy.

The two will set up a team that will hold quarterly meetings to discuss chances available for Kepsa members at the tech hub.

According to the agreement signed on Monday, the pair will jointly put in place a framework that will ensure adherence to safety, health and commercially sound construction standards at the Konza Techno City.

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Safaricom to pay customers minute airtime for dropped calls

BobJoeWangusiBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Thursday June 30, 2016

Telecoms operator Safaricom on Wednesday moved to tighten its grip on the voice calls market with the promise to pay subscribers for any disconnection that occurs while they are making local calls.

The promise effectively means Safaricom has strengthened its network enough to use quality as a differentiating factor in the marketplace where it is embroiled in a bare-knuckle fight for customers with resurgent rivals.

On Wednesday, Safaricom unveiled a suite of products, key among them –Safaricom guarantee - that commits to refund customers up to one minute talk time if their calls get prematurely disconnected while speaking to other Safaricom subscribers.  

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You can help shape Kenya’s ICT policy, if you speak now

ictnewsDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday June 29, 2016

Recently, the Ministry of ICT published its 2016 National ICT Draft Policy for public comment. 

For a public that is arguably the most digitally active in Africa, the relatively few comments coming in are surprising.

The draft policy is hosted at the ICT Ministry website, the Strathmore University Jadili platform and on the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTAnet) forum, where online moderation on the ICT issues is currently under way.

Feedback from the public is flowing on these platforms, but dismally, considering our larger-than-life reputation as one of the most digitised nations in Africa.

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KBC plans commercial wing under proposed ICT rules

waithakaBUSINESS DAILY By OKUTTAH MARK,

Monday June 27, 2016

The government has moved to split State broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) into two companies —public and commercial — in line with a draft ICT policy. The National ICT policy is undergoing public review.

KBC managing director Waithaka Waihenya said the move is aimed at making the corporation more competitive while at the same time protecting its mandate of informing the public without the headache of pursuing profit.

“The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) will be restructured to ensure its relevance and viability as the public broadcaster,” says the ICT policy.

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