In March 2020, President Kenyatta signed the amendment of the Kenya Information and Communication Act that made electronic signatures legal.
The development had been pursued as a means to authenticate and sign documents using digital means, effectively eliminating many bureaucratic steps for businesses.
The amendment was first proposed in late 2019 under the Business Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
According to the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the law has led to other developments, such as the role of Electronic Certification Service Providers (E-CSPs).
The CA reiterates that E-CSPs are used to authenticate the signatory and ensure that the integrity of the document that has been signed electronically is maintained, giving all parties confidence in the document and transaction.
The aforementioned Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 tasks the CA to license E-CSPs to issue digital certificates. The certificate is a record provided a Certification Service Provider to support a digital signature.
It gives credence to the identity of or other notable characteristics of the person who holds a particular key pair.
Besides local businesses, the CA is asking any Foreign Electronic Certification Provider in Kenya to apply for recognition of their services.
The providers are required to apply for recognition within 30 days from the day of the first notice (September 1, 2020).