December 3, 2021 - 5 minutes read

A look at the Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy

By Amrit Labhuram

Critical infrastructure assets are designated assets or facilities, whether owned by private or public entities which are designated as essential to the provision of vital services to Kenyans for their social and economic wellbeing. These assets, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable, would impact on the social or economic wellbeing of the nation or affect Kenya’s ability to conduct national defense and security.

The 2020 ICT Policy states that the government will identify institutions, organisations and establishments that are of national strategic importance and classify them as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ assets. The draft Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy 2021 identifies these assets as:

  • Energy Sector:
    • Electricity segment; and
    • Oil segment.
  • Transportation Sector:
    • Aviation;
    • Land Transport; and 
    • Maritime Transportation System.
  • ICT Sector:
    •  Fiber Optic Cable;
    • Submarine Cables;
    • Telecommunication Transmission Hubs;
    • Telecommunication lines, posts, masts and towers; and
    • Data Centers.
  •  Water and Sanitation sector.
  • Food and Agriculture Sector.
  • Government Installations.
  • Healthcare facilities.
  • Educational institutions.

The general objective of the draft policy is to provide a national framework for the harmonization and co-ordination of critical infrastructure protection across various sectors. The specific objectives are to provide a framework for the protection of critical infrastructure assets, provide a framework for integrated planning for collective and collaborative approach in construction of critical infrastructure. Other objectives include providing coordinating mechanisms for the security of critical infrastructure, developing guidelines for information sharing and reporting on critical infrastructure protection and promoting and enhancing utilization of shared critical infrastructure by stakeholders.

Upon the implementation of the policy, there will be a coordinated and integrated approach to enhance capability of stakeholders to protect the critical infrastructure leading to minimal disruptions of key services and thus ensuring business continuity which will boost the economy of Kenya. There will also be improved information and infrastructure sharing where stakeholders share information and infrastructure to strengthen security and resilience of critical infrastructure. Successful implementation of the policy will enhance private public partnership in critical Infrastructure protection to ensure all relevant stakeholders from all levels of government, industry, emergency management, private sector as well as security are represented. It will also ensure resilient critical infrastructure that will withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions, deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally-occurring threats or incidents.

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