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Small businesses in need of ICT knowledge

muriithipicDAILY NATION By NDIRITU MURIITHI

Monday January 23, 2017

Kenya has taken a leap towards recognition of the importance of the informal sector by publishing the first comprehensive survey on the industry.

The ‘Micro, Small & Medium Establishments Basic Report’ compiled by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics provides vital data for policy makers, researchers and investors interested in the sustainability of small businesses that contribute a third of the GDP and employ some 15 million people.

In fact, they employ more people than the formal sector.

Technology has become embedded in business operations and, therefore, the report would not have been complete without a chapter on use, gadgets and knowledge of Information Technology (IT).

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ICT Authority, not Treasury, should oversee IFMIS

ifmisDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday January 17, 2017

IFMIS, the the software commissioned to manage national and county government public finances, has recently resurfaced in the press for all the wrong reasons.

Early last year, the public got to know about IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management System) as the system that suspects exploited to siphon billions of shillings from the National Youth Service.

More recently, the Auditor-General published a report on IFMIS that exposed many procedural and technical weakness. 

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Upper primary pupils also to benefit from laptop project

Laptops4DAILY NATION By REITZ MUREITHI

Thursday January 12, 2016

The government is set to to expand the digital learning programme to include pupils from Standard Four to Eight.

ICT Authority Director Paul Rono said the expansion will be implemented during phase two of the program.

“We are hoping to complete phase one in six months, after which the government will embark on giving the tablets to the rest of the primary school students,” Mr Rono said.

He spoke at Kipkewa Primary School in Kuresoi North during the opening of a digital literacy programme.

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On election amendment laws, here are the burning questions, answered

BVRDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday January 10, 2017

The debate on whether to use manual systems or electronic ones in the forthcoming election has generated more heat than light.

It’s a reflection of the Kenyan problem, where we like jumping into debates without taking time to understand the problem.

Perhaps it would be useful to interrogate commonly held positions through a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format.

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ICT wishes as we approach 2017 elections

voterigDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday January 04, 2017

So we are finally in the new year. If Father Christmas was reliable and able to deliver on his promises, what are the things I would ask for?

Top of the list would of course be that in August 2017, the electoral electronic systems would work. A lot would depend on that. Correction, everything will go up or down in Kenya depending on how we navigate through the 2017 election.

I would wish that the ICT Cabinet secretary would stop talking about Al-Shabaab terrorists coming to hack our electronic systems or blow up the communication masts that would have otherwise transmitted the election results.

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IEBC can learn from Brazil how to manage electronic voting

biometricDAILY NATION By A REPORTER

Monday January 02, 2017

In the year 2000, there was a technological problem in the American election system.

The trouble emanated from an error in the e-voting machines in Volusia County, Florida, with Al Gore receiving negative votes in a hotly contested presidential race.

Out of only 585 registered voters, the machines allocated George Bush 2,813 and Al Gore had negative 16,022 votes.

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Provision of tablets pushed to March

mucherupxDAILY NATION By OUMA WANZALA

Friday December 23, 2016

The provision of tablets to Standard One pupils which was supposed to be concluded this month has now been pushed to March.

Out of the targeted 1.2 million pupils, the government has only provided about 200,000 pupils with the devices.

The Jubilee government’s flagship project of providing tablets to public primary schools, has been elusive since 2013 and President Kenyatta had promised that it would be concluded by the end of this year.

ICT Authority acting chief executive Robert Mugo said the delays in production from China had led to the spillover effect.

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On electronic polling, both Cord and Jubilee are needlessly hard-line

voterigDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Tuesday December 20, 2016

Parliament has been summoned to meet today and discuss urgent matters, one of which is about changing the law to allow the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to fall back to manual systems in the event electronic systems fail.

The battle lines have already been drawn, with each side of the political divide screaming valid points for or against the motion. 

On one hand, we have the self-declared ‘digital’ government wishing to have manual systems on standby, ready to take over in the event electronic systems fail.

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Internet cable via Djibouti to cost Sh10bn

cableDAILY NATION By MUTHOKI MUMO

Wednesday December 13,2016

A proposed undersea cable that will provide Internet redundancy for the Horn of Africa region is expected to cost Sh10.2 billion ($100 million).

The 4,700 kilometre Djibouti-Africa Regional Express (DARE) is set to be constructed by a partnership of governments and telecoms operators in the region.

In Kenya, shareholders of The East African Marine Cable System (TEAMS) have been approached with a proposal to contribute Sh2 billion ($20 million) to the construction.

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Nairobi University eyes Sh500m fund to sponsor high potential innovators

envoyDAILY NATION By MUTHOKI MUMO

Wednesday December 07, 2016

The University of Nairobi is targeting a Sh500 million fund to finance innovators.

The fund will be used to help develop exceptional ideas that will be showcased during the third annual Nairobi Innovation Week, slated for March 2017.

“We hope also that we will use part of the money to reward the innovators,” said Industrialisation PS Julius Korir yesterday in Nairobi at the launch of 2017 event.

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Governors call for audit of financial management system

governorDAILY NATION By SILAS APOLLO

Monday December 05,2016

Governors have called for a forensic audit of the integrated financial management system.

In a statement on Sunday, the governors said the system – introduced to reduce corruption in the government payment structure – had experienced "serious hitches, leading to pilferage of billions of taxpayers’ shillings”.

That, the Council of Governors added, had further been compounded by poor coordination of departments running the system, including the National Treasury, the Central Bank of Kenya and devolved units.

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Electoral commission meets as ICT deadline looms

BVRDAILY NATION By JOHN NJAGI

Friday December 02, 2016

The electoral commission on Wednesday held a lengthy closed door meeting with a parliamentary team as it grapples with tight deadlines for procurement of technology for the 20I7 election.

According to a law, that became operational on October 4, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is expected to procure all technology by December 8, eight months to the elections.

Automation of all electoral processes was part of the provisions that are “minimum deliverables” agreed between Cord and Jubilee to make the next elections credible.

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Communications Authority told to roll out 3G before poll

CAKDAILY NATION By PATRICK LANG'AT

Wednesday November 30 2016

Parliament on Tuesday directed the Communications Authority of Kenya to roll out a 3G network countrywide to be used in the 2017 elections, in a raft of proposals to right the many wrongs in the 2013 poll.

Currently, only 17 per cent of the country is 3G enabled yet equipment for the August 8 elections will use the network to transmit scanned copies of results to constituency tallying centres.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had in the last elections procured 17,500 electronic kits that failed to work partly because of poor connectivity.

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Good system with bad managers is the country’s biggest challenge

DNIFMIS1308aDAILY NATION By KENNETH OKWAROH

Monday November 28, 2016

I once wrote a case study report for Kenya on the status of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in 2014. Part of my report lauded the government for significant progress in establishing systems to facilitate effective management of public money.

My research team was optimistic that with such reforms as the enactment of the Public Finance Management Act 2012, the operationalisation of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis), review of procurement regulations, among a raft of many other finance sector policy reforms, Kenya was on track towards better handling of public finance.

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Threats to our internet freedom remain plentiful

Bd-FibreOptic1.JPGDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday November 23, 2016

Last week, Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTAnet) hosted the first session of the Kenya School of Internet Governance.

Among the many thought-provoking presentations by various facilitators, one clearly stood out.

On the last day, a human rights lawyer named Henry Maina made a presentation that challenged the widely held perception that Kenya was indeed enjoying unlimited Internet freedom.

Maina, a director at the human rights group Article 19, was the brain behind the lawsuit that eventually led the High Court to declare Section 29 of the Kenya Information Communication Act unconstitutional.

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KAA contracts firm to provide software for managing revenues

jkiaDAILY NATION By BRIAN NGUGI

Thursday November 10, 2016

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is set to adopt a new software to manage its revenues.

The agency has awarded a five-year contract to software firm Concessionaire Analyzer+ (CA+) together with Eastra Solutions Ltd, a Nairobi-based solutions provider, to provide the revenue platform.

The contract is for supply and maintenance of an integrated point-of-sale solution to help collect detailed transactional sales data from firms doing business at airports. It will also allow KAA to enforce revenue-share agreements already in place at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

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Those who denigrate digital activism are misguided

DNDigitalMigration2712vDAILY NATION By NANJIRA SAMBULI

Monday November 07,2016

Taking stock of the past half-decade, my Ukenya has been immeasurably enriched by the new media spaces we occupy.

What started as a budding community of Kenyan bloggers and a close-linked network of Kenyans on Twitter who occasionally met offline is now a strong pulse of the nation.

Through social media, one can get a sense of the trials, tribulations, successes and victories across most, if not all, parts of the country.

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Some early questions for the State House ICT Summit

DIGITDAILY NATION By JOHN WALUBENGO

Wednesday November 02, 2016

My feelers indicate that a State House summit to discuss ICT matters has finally been scheduled for Monday next week.

Unlike my fellow columnist Dr David Ndii, nobody from the house on the hill has bothered to extend me an invite to honour or turn down. 

Considering that the chances of that State House invite materialising on my desk are close to zero, I have opted to ask some of the questions that have been bothering the ICT community right here.

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Mucheru says draft law on blogger video uploads to be amended

joeDAILY NATION By MUTHOKI MUMO

Wednesday October 26, 2016

A controversial Bill that would require Kenyans posting videos online to seek clearance of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) will be amended, a Cabinet Secretary has said.

ICT Secretary Joe Mucheru said in an interview the Films, Stage Plays and Publication Bill authored by KFCB is still in the draft stage and that ultimately “sanity will prevail”.

It has caused uproar mainly from Kenyan bloggers and artists.

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Kenya poised for another first in mobile money revolution

mobilephoneBUSINESS DAILY By BRIAN NGUGI

Tuesday, October 18   2016

Kenya is poised to enter a new mobile money economy era, judging by the steady rise in cashless transactions for goods and services.

A new study by consultancy firm Deloitte says Kenya is ripe for a mobile money revolution and urges local businesses to align their sales models with the emerging reality to stay ahead of the competition.

The impending mobile payments revolution marks yet another first for Kenya, which has been a front-runner in mobile payments backed by innovations such as mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa.

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