Sometime in June last year (2016), Kenya’s parliament passed a bill called ICT Practitioners Bill, 2016 which was meant to standardize ICT Practitioners in Kenya. The bill which was met with a lot of uproar from industry players would see to it that all ICT Practitioners in Kenya are registered under the ICT Practitioners Institute (which would be created when the Bill is passed).
If passed, the Bill would mean that only registered members of the Institute can practice IT. To be eligible as a member, one would need to be a holder of at least a bachelor’s degree in an ICT related field from a recognized university or have any bachelor’s degree but have at least three years’ experience in ICT or be a holder of a diploma from a recognized university and the pass an examination from the institute and prove to be a person of good moral character.
IT firms would also require to be registered and have at least one of the partners or principals be a member of the ICT Practitioners Institute.
The functions of the ICT Practitioners Institute, as per the Bill, would be to:
- Establish standards of professional competence and practice amongst members of the Institute;
- Protect, assist and educate the public in Kenya in all matters touching, ancillary or incidental to the
- profession of ICT;
- Represent, protect and assist members of the profession of ICT in Kenya in respect of conditions of practice and otherwise;
- Approve courses for purposes of registration of ICT Practitioners under this Act;
- Administer such examinations as may be necessary to determine whether persons are qualified for registration under this Act;
- Register and license ICT practitioners for the purposes of this Act upon payment of the prescribed fees;
- Collaborate with training institutions, professional associations and other relevant bodies in matters relating to training and professional development of ICT practitioners;
- Determine the fees to be charged by ICT practitioners and firms for professional services rendered from time to time;
- Upon request, to act as an arbitrator in any disputes between a licensed ICT Practitioner and a client;
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on appropriate policies and programs governing the profession of ICT in Kenya;
- Supervise the professional conduct and practice of ICT practitioners and to take the necessary disciplinary measures in cases of violations of professional conduct and discipline;
- Plan, arrange, co-ordinate and oversee continuing professional training and development of ICT practitioners.
ICT Cabinet, Joe Mucheru, while speaking in United States University during the HPC Forum over the weekend said, that the just concluded elections shown light on several issues that needed to be addressed, “especially the unsubstantiated reports of alleged IEBC hacking by the NASA team which was sent to over 200 countries and embarrassed the country because the claims were unfounded.”
“It would not have been so if the government had credentials of such individuals,” he added.
Ironically, Mr. Mucheru had, last year, opposed the Bill claiming that “If enacted, [it] will cause duplication in regulation and frustrate individual talents from realizing their potential.”