Future of ICT business and infrastructure

August 14, 2020 - 5 minutes read
Kenya’s ICT Operational Environment

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.

As per the last Government Economic Survey report

  • Fibre Optic Coverage: Every county headquarters has been reached by the National Optic Fibre Broadband Infrastructure (NOFBI) in addition to other fibre-optic cables owned by private companies, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) and Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC).
  • 2G Coverage: Geographical coverage is 45% of Kenya’s land area, with 94.4% of the population covered.
  • 3G Coverage: Geographical coverage is 17%, with 78% of the population covered
  • 4G Coverage: Reaches 37% of the population and 15% of the surface area.

We continue to strive for increased access to ICTs across the nation.

ICT Infrastructure and Access

Bulk purchasing

Per the ICT Policy guidelines published on 7th August 2020 by the CS ICT, the Government will adopt an Enterprise Architecture to govern the implementation and deployment of infrastructure, hardware, software, systems and services across the public sector in a coherent, cost-effective and sustainable manner.

In order to ensure efficient use of funds and limited resources, the Government is keen on executing agreements for economic bulk purchase of software licenses and standard ICT equipment. All government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and bodies are required to acquire such licenses and equipment, as they need, at the reduced government negotiated price. These prices will be submitted to the Public Procurement Oversight Authority for inclusion in the Market Price Index.

Data Centres

The Government will develop guidelines for current and future data centres to avoid inefficient public and private ad-hoc investments.

  • With the mandated requirement for the licensing of county based last-mile service providers, County governments are encouraged to create shared data centres for local peering and internet traffic exchange. Consequently,
  • All government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are required to share and optimise data centre infrastructure.
  • All government data centres, not specifically designated for national security purposes, shall be approved by the Ministry of ICT, which will not permit new investment where there is available capacity in any other ministry that may be used, in order to provide cost efficient, scalable and secure environment for government data and information storage.
  • The government will promote, encourage and license private sector investment in neutral data centers by companies incorporated for that purpose.
  • The government will ensure the availability of basic infrastructure for approved data centers, such as reliable grid power, subsidised or discounted electric power costs, access to the national publicly-owned data transport backbone, security within the context of the national cyber-security framework, physical policing plans, and the national data classification guidelines.
  • All centres that hold public data must be a minimum of a level 2 Data Centre.

Rights of Way/Way Leaves:

Rights of way, way leaves, permits and clearances have been a persistent and recurring challenge to the deployment of cabling plant, towers and other infrastructure.

The National Government will:

  • Work with County Governments to develop harmonised way leave guidelines and charges that protect the ICT infrastructure, optimise usage, protect the environment and roads, and prevent multiple charges.
  • Require that all current and future road, rail and underground power grid designs incorporate common crossing ducts to prevent damage wherever crossing is needed and provide commonly available fiber ducts along their length.
  • Take direct corrective measures to protect against way leave encroachment by developers especially land owners whose properties front major highways and other access roads.
  • Where there are no pre-existing ducts, to require infrastructure sharing on new builds as a pre-requisite condition for licensing.

The government will where appropriate provide fee breaks, incentives, discounts, government cost-sharing and grants to the primary duct developer and require the provision of equitable access to other service providers, government agencies and utility companies.

Government’s 5 Year ICT  Policy Goals

The policy aims to ensure that in the next 5 years, there are new firms:

  • 20 Kenyan Multi-national ICT Companies
  • 300 Mid-sized Companies
  • 5000 Small and Medium Enterprises
  • 20,000 Start-ups
Equity Participation

The government strongly encourages Kenyans to participate in the ICT and Science & Technology sector through equity participation.

The policy provides that only companies with at least 30% substantive Kenyan ownership, either corporate or individual will be licensed to provide ICT services.

For purposes of this rule, companies without majority Kenyan ownership will not be considered Kenyan.

Licensees will have 3 years to meet the local equity ownership threshold they may apply to the Cabinet Secretary for a one-year extension with appropriate acceptable justifications.

For listed companies the equity participation rules will conform to the then extant rules of the Capital Markets Authority.

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