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Developments in Kenya’s ICT sector

I was reading through the latest edition of the Computing Connections newsletter and couldn’t helped but be impressed by a number of developments in the ICT sector. Hard to believe that as recently as 2003, wi-fi and VOIP was illegal in Kenya.

Though there is still much progress to be made, the landscape (especially from the government and regulatory perspective) is VASTLY improved and demonstrates how much progress the country can make if we had the right people in policy/decision-making positions.

Some highlights from the report:

– So far this year, ten small business process operations have been launched in Kenya.

– Mobile operators will be required to contribute 1% of revenues to a Universal Access Communications Development Fund (which is apparently making them unhappy…I hope the government ignores them on this one and how about lowering tariffs?).

– Sammy Kirui, who was fired from the CCK amidst wide protests, is doing a good job at Telkom Kenya and pushing aggressively into the wireless/cdma space. I admit I was one of those people who very very sceptical about Kirui’s move and about Waweru’s move to the CCK, but it seems to have worked out.

– There are plans to revive the former KPTC telephone assembly plant and use it to manufacture mobile phones, low-costs computers etc.

– In a case over the issuance of a competing gateway license, the Communications tribunal ruled that “the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) was to ignore any policy guidelines of a specific nature coming from the Ministry as the [Communications] Act was clear that CCK was to give “due regard to policy guidelines of a general nature”. This means that CCK’s independence as a regulator has been reemphasized and underlined.” This is HUGE. Most regulatory bodies in Africa suffer from a lack of independence due to constant interference from the government, ICASA is South Africa is a good case in point.

– KDN’s plans for a national fibre network are full-steam ahead.

8 comments to Developments in Kenya’s ICT sector

  • Luke

    Hi KP
    Thanks for the article
    My jaw almost dropped to the floor when i read this point in the story that said “Ndemo (who usually works in his office until midnight most nights and sometimes survives on four hours of sleep a day)

    I couldn’t believe this was refering to one of OUR ministers!

    Thanks also for the Mzalendo project-quick query-is it possible to include such similar items e.g. articles etc about our MPs, ministers, assistant ministers etc? such information makes it easy (for me at least) when it comes to making the vote count, especially in an up-coming election year

  • Read the report, great work they are doing the minister and his PS.

    “[…]On Software, we are negotiating with Microsoft to provide package deals to schools and Government. The response has been very positive compared with how much we paid for software in the past. We are also encouraging open source for those who can manage to use it.”

    Perhaps some more effort on open source software then there’ll be no need for negotiations with Microsoft

  • Aljazeera English has just launched with a great new website, digg it and bookmark it and link to it.

  • Qeustion and opinions-anyone:
    With only one commercial/private company operating an optical fibre backbone, how likely are biz and individuals in kenyans to see drop in cost (ie is competitive with the rest of the world) of bandwidth, given there will be no competition? Or is the govt likely to have a say in the operation of this backbone? How have countries such as India managed this issue of fibre backbone?

    Good questions, will try and address them in a future post.

  • Juma Musa

    Smoothtel & Data Solutions Limited based on Menelik Lane, off Kirichwa Road, Ngong Road have introduced into the market a new and revolutionary computing product called the NComputing multi-User Access Terminals that enable upto 30 Users to Share 1 Computer. For more information, click on this link http://www.smoothtel.com/ncomputing.html

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  • […] hild Death in Africa is a Glass of Clean Water’. Chad/Darfur: Bandages and Bayonets. Developments in Kenya’s ICT sector. Open Source Malawian Software. The Songtaaba Women’s Group. […]