Following the appointment of Joe Mucheru as ICT CS, captains of industry, scholars and technology enthusiasts converged at the Nairobi Serena Hotel with the intent of presenting their ICT wishlist for the first 100 days to the CS. Key among the issues raised included the reviewing of the National ICT Sector Policy, which was already in the plans. The Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology has now reviewed the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector Policy Guidelines of 2006 and has developed a new Draft Policy.
The review of the policies includes both legal and regulatory aspects aimed at spurring the local ICT sector by enhancing its competitiveness. The policy incorporates key trends in the ICT sector including mobile money, cyber security and e-government. It also includes issues such as use of services offered via the internet including big data and over-the-top services as well as gaming.
For mobile money, the policy, for example, proposes to provide an open and level playing field that offers mobile money service; address the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing; provide for the protection of intermediaries offering mobile money transfer services and importantly, encourage interoperability between operators. With Over-the-top services, the policy proposes to encourage local telcos to develop their business models to effectively remain competitive in the face of the challenges OTTs present to their business models.
The ministry of ICT is now inviting stakeholders in the ICT sector to submit comments for the same by 6th July 2016. The interested parties can send their comments via mail through firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also submit their comments via post addressed to The Principal Secretary, State Department of Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology.
The National ICT Policy 2016 will provide the policy framework for the development of the ICT sector for the next five years besides aligning Kenya’s ICT needs with the economic blueprint, vision 2030.