The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986

Why Kenya's Konza technocity failed to take off


Wednesday December 11, 2018

It was touted as Kenya’s dream technocity that would create 200,000 jobs and make the country a model for other African countries in technological innovation.

Konza Technology City, launched by former president Mwai Kibaki in January 2013, was then a pet government project.


Mr Kibaki said at the launch that all had been put in place to ensure the construction of the city, located in Makueni County, was a success.

“I am telling the doubting Thomases to open their eyes wide and see what we are going to come up with,” said Mr Kibaki.


M-Pesa is a critical resource that should never fail


Monday December 10, 2018

I have written extensively about the implications of the dominance of Safaricom over the Kenyan economy and its implication as a potential single point of failure.

To be fair, the M-Pesa service has only failed twice or thrice in its 10-year history and that should be commendable as a very good performance level of availability.

However, within those 10 years, M-Pesa has grown from an option to literally being a must-have financial service for millions of Kenyans. It has also become integrated in the lifestyles of Kenyans in terms of paying for anything, ranging from groceries to school fees and even bribes.


What is the progress of ICT in the counties?


Wednesday November 11, 2018

When the international media says Kenya is a hotbed of innovation, many a time they are referring to Nairobi County.

Mention high-speed internet, innovation hubs, mobile apps for paying bills and for hailing taxi rides, apps for dating, or just about anything else, and you will get it in Nairobi.

Nairobi seems to have it all in terms of ICT.

However, is Nairobi the same as Kenya? What exactly is the state of ICT in the counties?

Difficult to tell, but reading from a 2015 County ICT study that was commissioned by the ICT Authority, the story was not so rosy. The study looked at the maturity levels of ICT governance and usage within the county governments.


Should CBK issue its own digital currency?


Wednesday November 27, 2018

Should the Central Bank of Kenya issue its own digital or cryptocurrency?

This is not a popular question to ask, particularly at a time like now when the most famous cryptocurrency has shed off 90 percent of its value over the last one month.

Additionally, the question of a sovereign country issuing its own cryptocurrency begs another question – what is the problem with the current physical fiat currency that would necessitate a digital version?

A final begging question would be – aren’t we creating an oxymoron by putting Central Bank and digital or crypto currency in the same sentence, especially because cryptocurrencies like bitcoin were designed from scratch to eliminate the need for intermediaries like Central Banks?


Telcos regulator seeks to monitor WhatsApp


Friday November 2, 2018

Kenya is considering regulating online services such as WhatsApp and Skype in a radical move that could force the internet-based service providers to share data with the government.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is in search of a consultant to study and determine how the so-called over-the-top services (OTTS) operated by groups such as Facebook, which runs WhatsApp, and Skype owner Microsoft, could be regulated.

The regulator wants to have some measure of control, much like it does with other traditional telecom products such as calls and phone text messages.

“Given that providers of OTTS are likely to gather their subscribers’ data and may not be domiciled in Kenya,” the CA said in a statement to the Business Daily.


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