Policies pegged on local/foreign shareholding of companies in Kenya have been mired in controversy since 2006 when the local shareholding of foreign companies was reduced to 20% to attract foreign investments. This allowed investors to retain up to 70% of their equity, demonstrating the government’s

Safeguarding the digital sphere: The crucial role of content moderation for public interest and consumer protection

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, content moderation has emerged as a critical defence against harmful and inappropriate online content. As the internet becomes an integral part of our lives, the need to ensure a safe and informative online environment becomes paramount. The digital age

Unlocking Kenya’s ICT Industry Potential: Empowering Business Process Outsourcing Contracts

Kenya’s ICT sector has experienced remarkable growth over the past few decades. This has positioned the country as a leading technology hub in East Africa. With the vision of becoming a top off-shoring destination in Africa, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and IT-Enabled Services (ITES)

Cyber security in Kenya: Lessons to learn from attack on state agency and insurance firm

“First, they came for the public sector, then for the private sector, then they came for government officials” So would run a poem about the recent happenings in the cybersecurity sector in Kenya. On March 1, 2023, Medusa, a ransomware organisation, targeted Kenya and hacked

Balancing information security and individual freedoms: the debate over information autocracy in the TikTok ban

The rise of TikTok, a popular video-sharing app, has been met with controversy over data security concerns and information autocracy risk. Several governments around the world, including the United States, the EU, Canada, and others, have imposed partial or total bans on TikTok due to

Era of the Metaverse: Potential adoption in Kenya, risks and opportunities

The Metaverse can best be described as an evolution of today’s internet and as something we are deeply immersed in, rather than something we primarily look at. It represents a convergence of digital technology to combine and extend the reach and use of cryptocurrency, artificial

Era of Deepfakes: Risks and the need for protective laws: An Explainer

Deepfakes refer to a form of Artificial Intelligence that is programmed to replace one person’s likeness with another in recorded video. The term “deepfake” comes from the technology called “deep learning,” which is a form of AI. Deep learning algorithms, which teach themselves how to

Communications Authority emerging technologies regulatory sandbox: A Primer

The Communications Authority of Kenya in January sent out a call for public consultation for emerging technologies regulatory sandbox. A regulatory sandbox can be considered as a regulatory space where a regulator allows anyone within the delimited space and time to test out business models,

ChatGPT issues: Regulations, policies and implications on fintech companies

Generative Pre-trained Transformer or ChatGPT as it is commonly referred to, is a chatbot launched by OpenAI, a company that develops Artificial Intelligence (AI) and natural language tools,  in November 2022. ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that uses advanced natural language processing to engage in

Uproar over Zuku services call for guidelines to streamline Internet Service Providers

Zuku, an internet service provider owned by Wananchi Group, has recently faced sharp public criticism. The company received widespread backlash online from its customers over poor internet services. Zuku customers experienced internet outage, downtime, and slow speeds for an extended period. To further worsen the

Digitisation of government services: The journey continues

The government’s aim to transition at least 90% of government services online seems closer than ever. 5,000 services are set to be digitised within the next six months. To this end, 300 services have been digitised.  Although it will be difficult to digitise 5,000 services

Forecast 2023: Tech innovations to expect in Kenya

Kenya ranks among the top digital and tech economies in Africa. This is as a result of its advancement in the development of large-scale ICT infrastructure, broadband connectivity, and other digital services. Often referred to as Africa’s Silicon Savannah, Kenya is the regional ICT hub

Taxing the digital economy: Indepth look at DST, loopholes and how to get it right

The global economy has gone digital. This has increased the issue of tax avoidance and tax equity and sparked an increase in digital taxes worldwide, therefore increasing the number of challenges to trade law. Kenya is one of the nations that have rolled out a

Kenya’s Digital Agenda: Journey towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Kenya will be marking its 59th Independence Day on Monday, December 12, 2022. This year’s Jamhuri Day Celebrations, dubbed “Innovation Jamhuri Day,” will focus on technology and innovation. A departure from prior years’ celebrations, this year’s Jamhuri is poised to look back at Kenya’s digital

A shot in the arm for digital literacy after Huawei joins ITU

Digital literacy has been the new normal with a bunch of companies and enterprises opening avenues to ensure that their clients and users of their products and services, explore and gain more information about their products and services with ease. This has seen some companies

e-governance: Paving the way to digital transformation

There are unique opportunities to use ICT for economic growth, productivity increase, and better service delivery.  According to the International Cooperation Development 2019 report on Guidelines and Roadmap for full deployment of e-governance systems in Africa, there are two critical elements of e-governance: digital elements

4th November Trade and Financial Services Round Up

Kenya Dollar crisis piles pressure on Sh75bn State firms foreign debt State-owned enterprises (SoEs) are sitting on non-guaranteed foreign currency debt worth Sh74.9 billion, exposing them to higher financing costs due to the sharp depreciation of the shilling against the US dollar. The dollar loans

An overview of Global Digital Compact

There is Global Compact for private sector companies to report on their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes and achievements on Sustainable Development Goals. Then there is Global Digital Compact, an idea whose time has come.  An offshoot from ‘The Common Agenda,’ a 2021 report by the

7th October 2022 Kenya Gazette

Legislative Supplements, 2022 ●     The Export Processing Zones Act—Declaration of Export Processing Zone ●     The Medical Practitioners and Dentists (Inspection and Licensing) Rules, 2022 ●     The Merchant Shipping (Kenyan Seafarers’ Identity Document) Regulations, 2022 ●     The Capital

Will ICT play an increasingly important role in Kenya’s election? 

The hearing of the presidential election petition this week have had the ICT systems used in the election process under the microscope and have proven that the systems are essential to achieving a credible electoral outcome.  Nevertheless, the risks and unforeseen challenges these technologies carry

Harmonising Africa’s regulatory for the realisation of an African data economy

In Part III of our series “Dissecting the African Union Data Policy Framework”, we will cover the key considerations in aligning a country’s regulatory context with the requirements of an African data economy.  A trusted data environment requires users to trust the entire political and

What will cross border transfers on the African continent look like under the AU Data Policy Framework?

For digital trade to occur, data has to be moved across borders. While data accumulation can be a safe and secure way to manage data, hoarding data without means to use, exchange, or repurpose in a safe manner can create underutilisation risks, which may decrease

Safeguarding ICT customers through Consumer Protection Guidelines and Customer Care standards

Kenya’s ICT regulator, Communications Authority, has released guidelines to clarify how the Authority expects licensed service providers to respect and protect ICT consumers’ rights and encourage best practices by licensed service providers and promote the provision of high-quality services to consumers. The Customer Protection Guidelines

The AU Data Policy Framework: Africa’s solution to data emancipation?

The data policy framework for African countries seeks to maximise the benefits of a data-driven economy by creating an enabling policy environment for private and public investments necessary to support data-driven value creation and innovation.  The document, if implemented accordingly, will increase data policy harmonisation

Council for Responsible Social Media: Walking a tightrope to regulate social platforms

The Council for Responsible Social Media is a recently established non-partisan and voluntary group that consists of five members from civil society organisations, data and technology, peace and security, and media. The Council aims to minimise online harms and make social media platforms safe for

Digital transformation: Overview of a study on Kenya’s digital readiness

Kenya ranked 116th out of 193 countries in the UN E-Government Development Index 2020 and has been on a steady journey towards embodying full digital transformation.  In light of the advancements made by the Kenyan government, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), Estonian Centre for

IPv4 to IPv6 Migration: Why the future of the internet depends on it

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are critical for connection to the Internet because they represent the numbers that uniquely identify devices connected to the Internet. Every device connected to the internet has a unique IP address.  However, a global shortage of IPv4 addresses has prompted all

Hope for digital stakeholders after launch of DCI forensic lab to combat cybercrimes

The war against cybercrime in Kenya went a notch higher following an initiative by the government to curb the surge in the vice.  During the launch of a new DCI national forensic laboratory in Nairobi on Monday, June 13, 2022, President Kenyatta singled out sim

Under pressure, IEBC needs to manage stakeholders

It will take a special process for the National Assembly to hold a sitting following last Thursday’s adjournment of its sittings indefinitely. Among the institutions that had hoped to have its issues resolved before the legislators effectively closed shop was the electoral commission, which had

Enhancing telecommunication interoperability in Kenya: A Peek at Draft Interconnection Regulations, 2022

The draft  Kenya Information and Communications Act (Interconnection) Regulations form part of a series of features highlighting the salient details of the four draft regulations published by the Ministry of ICT.  Why is it important At its core, the draft Interconnection Regulations have been developed

ICT infrastructure sharing: A close dissection of the draft regulation with hopes to accelerate digitisation of the Kenyan economy

From fibre optic cables to telecommunication masts, multimedia gateways to mobile money transfer platforms, the development and deployment of tangible and intangible ICT infrastructure is an extremely capital-intensive undertaking.  ICT infrastructure rollout and availability is critical to ensure access to reliable digital services. In a

Here is what Digital Credit Providers need to know as licensing deadline approaches

The Central Bank of Kenya on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, issued a press release in relation to licensing of Digital Credit Providers (DCPs). The deadline for licensing of DCPs is September 17, 2022.  The announcement by CBK serves to remind DCPs that are yet to

Economic Survey 2022: A look at ICT sector performance during and after the pandemic

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) recently released the Economic Survey 2022, detailing how various sectors and job markets performed and offered insight into the post Covid-19 recovery. Kenya’s economy rebounded in 2021 compared to 2020, with most sectors recording significant improvement. According to

The journey towards developing nuclear energy in Kenya to power a digitised economy

Energy is vital for the economic progress of a country. It has a significant impact on all aspects of development, ranging from environment, social, economic, agriculture, population and livelihood. The COVID-19 pandemic also served to catalyse digitalisation of all aspects of economic activities. . Kenya’s

Recognising the youth during World Intellectual Property Day and what recordation entails for importers

The World Intellectual Property Day is observed annually on April 26. Since the year 2000, the day is celebrated to raise awareness of the impact patents, copyright, trademarks and design have on our daily life. Intellectual Property (IP) rights are used to encourage innovation and

Future of work: Equipping the next generation with advanced IT skills

Kenya is poised to introduce coding for secondary and primary school students. This is after the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) approved a new syllabus that offers to equip children with coding skills. The rollout of the syllabus in Kenya will be a first

Data Privacy Certification: Establishment of Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum and Resurrection of the Privacy Shield

On Thursday, April 21, 2022, US Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo issued a statement on the establishment of the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) Forum. The forum consists of Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, and the United States of

EdTech: Deploying contemporary Information Technology solutions for Academic Delivery

By Paul Okanda The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many economic sectors and allowed a number of them to accelerate their hitherto slow adoption of information technology systems for efficient service delivery. One of the showcase emerging sectors remains education. This sector is now thriving with

Details of the newly launched National Digital Master Plan expected to accelerate socio-economic growth

Information Communication Technologies are developing so quickly that there is a need to design a way to allow constant growth in the economic system and community. This is why the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mr Joe Mucheru,  launched the Kenya National

Barriers to digital foreign trade in Kenya: A US perspective

The 2022 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE) is the 37th version in an annual series that highlights significant foreign barriers to US exports, US foreign direct investment, and US electronic commerce. The NTE Report identifies significant barriers, regardless of whether they

Road to film and broadcast content regulation: KCFB’s proposed co-regulation framework and issues raised

The Kenya Film Classification Board seeks to assess the regulatory framework of the broadcast and Over The Top (OTT) and Video on Demand (VOD) in the country with a view to implement a co-regulation framework in a bid to ease business as well as create

Data Commissioner calls for public comments on draft Alternative Dispute Resolution framework

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has called for comments from the public on its first draft Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) framework for data protection disputes.  The ADR, in the context of the framework, is a voluntary process of settling data protection disputes

Microsoft launches premier African engineering hub in Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta, accompanied by ICT CS Joe Mucheru, on Thursday evening, presided over the launch of Microsoft’s premier engineering hub, the Africa Development Centre (ADC).  The ADC, valued at Kshs. 3 billion ($27 million), is one of the largest software engineering facilities in Africa,

Communications Authority releases draft guidelines to protect and keep children safe online

Digital access is no doubt double edged. On one hand it exposes children to a wealth of benefits and opportunities, but on the other a host of risks, including access to harmful content, sexual exploitation and abuse, cyber bullying, and misuse of their private information.

New regulations set to tame predatory digital lending practices in Kenya

Digital lenders have up to September 2022 to comply with regulatory requirements, including licensing by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). The Central Bank of Kenya (Digital Credit Providers) Regulations, 2021 (“Draft Regulations”), which are expected to be published before the end of March 2022,

Cybersecurity in Kenyan Fintech, threats, trends and solutions: Highlights of GIZ Report, 2022

Digital payments are progressively entering the mainstream, in correlation to the increased access, use, and adoption of ICTs in Kenya. However, the transition to and eventual adoption of digital payments will bear its own risks, in the form of cybersecurity risks.  Against this backdrop, “A

Investing in the Metaverse: Opportunities in the platform’s next frontier

Human social interactions are on the verge of the next major evolution as we enter the age of the metaverse. The metaverse provides humans with access to a digital platform in parallel with our physical reality. The internet as we know it has the potential

What you need to register as a data controller or processor

2022 has been hailed as Kenya’s year for data protection compliance. Despite enactment of the Data Protection Act in November 2019, enforcement of Kenya’s data protection framework has largely remained hindered due to lack of a functioning regulatory supervisory authority, as well as insufficient regulations

Artificial Intelligence Policy in Kenya: The journey towards regulation needs to commence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. AI systems work by ingesting large amounts of labeled training data, analyzing the data for correlations and patterns, and using these patterns to make predictions about future states.

A look at the Critical Infrastructure Protection Policy

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

Hope for Improved ICT Infrastructure after High Court Orders Implementation of Initiatives to Aid Access to Justice

Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) has for years now been an enabler of Kenya’s economy and development. When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, the government looked at ICT to provide various solutions given that the Ministry of Health had laid out various measures including

ICT sector priorities: Conversation between Senate and Industry

The Senate Standing Committee on Information, Communication and Technology held a meeting this week with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the Kenya ICT Action Network to deliberate on emerging legislative and policy gaps in the ICT Sector. Key Challenges The presentation from the Sector

Universal Service Fund: A conversation between CA & the Senate

This week, members of the Senate ICT Committee has a conversation with the Communications Authority on the utilization of the Universal Service Fund(USF). The USF is a fund that is funded by telecommunications service providers as part of the terms and conditions of licence. The

The Internet – Our modern super highway & fair usage policies

Safaricom did a brave thing in being open and transparent about its policies, and in his opinion the fair usage policy as published is quite generous and caters for most customers.

The Africa Business Forum: Innovative finance to harness technology

Introduction The Virtual Opening of The Africa Business forum was held on the margins of the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly Of Heads Of State And Government on 8th February 2021 at 14.45 hrs to 16.00hrs East Africa Time. The Forum was

Establishment of the Taskforce on Development of the Data Protection (General) Regulations

The Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications, Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs, has constituted a Taskforce to be known as the Taskforce on the Development of the Data Protection, General Regulations. The Task force constitutes of the following: Role  Name Chairperson Immaculate Kassait   Members Humphrey Njogu

Government priorities for Energy, Infrastructure and ICT

In Kenya’s national finance cycle, the Energy, Infrastructure and ICT Sector (EII) comprises nine sub-sectors namely:  Energy and Petroleum;  Infrastructure;  Transport;  Shipping and Maritime;  Housing and Urban Development;  Public Works;  Information Communication and Technology;  Broadcasting and Telecommunications.  The Sector aims at providing efficient, affordable and

ICT Practitioner’s Bill: The “Birth of a Profession?”

Hon. Godfrey Otsotsi is back with the Information Communication Technology Practitioners Bill 2020 which has triggered murmurs across Kenya’s technology community. The bill seeks to establish a legal framework for the training, registration, licensing, practice and standards of Information Communication Technology (ICT) professionals in Kenya.

Kenya appoints her first Data Commissioner

As the Data Commissioner, she will be responsible for the enforcement of the Data Protection Act

Highlights: Draft Consumer Protection Guidelines

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has released draft consumer protection guidelines for public review and comment. The guidelines are to protect the users and consumers of communications services with regard to the prices, the quality and variety of services.

Digital Economy Strategy highlights

The Ministry of ICT (MoICT) has released the draft Digital Economy Strategy which focuses on six pillars

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) asks Foreign Electronic Certification Service Providers to register

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has published a public notice asking all foreign Electronic Certification Providers are required to apply for recognition within 30 days. This follows the enactment and operationalization of the Business Laws (Amendment) Act 2020 early this year. The Act, which

Ministry of ICT request for comments on the Draft Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya

The Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs has developed and published the Digital Economy Strategy for Kenya and is inviting all stakeholders to submit their inputs and comments.

The ICT County Survey 2020

On Tuesday 25th August 2020, the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANET) launched the 2020 ICT County Survey Report at a specially convened session of the Senate ICT Committee. The report assesses uptake and adoption of ICT at County Level as well as challenges and highlights

Future of ICT business and infrastructure

Kenya is currently one of Africa’s fastest growing ICT markets where ICTs have increased productivity, accelerated processes, increased human resource digital skills and contributed to improved standards of living for Kenyans.

Update on the Kenya’s Data Commissioner interviews and appointment

Kenya’s Data Protection Act which came into effect on 25 November 2019, provides for the establishment the office of the Data Protection Commissioner to be headed by the Data Commissioner. The Public Service Commission had undertaken a shortlisting exercise and published names and interview schedules for the 10 shortlisted candidates on 7 July 2020. However, on the same morning, the Employment and Labour Relations Court, through an order issued by Judge Hellen Wasilwa and directed to the Commission to suspend the ongoing recruitment of the Data Commissioner pending the hearing and determination of a petition filed by lawyer Mr Adrian Kamotho.