A little over a week ago, the Kenya Parliament deliberated on and then proposed to pass the ICT Practitioners Bill.
The law has since been disputed by all members of the ICT industry in the country. In fact, the only people who were in support of the proposal were members of parliament, some of whom we identified in this piece.
We also pieced together their arguments, some of which did not make a lot of sense. For instance, they suggested that they wanted to make the ICT profession more ‘official’, where practitioners will be licensed to carry out their work.
This, according to arguments presented by the public, would curtail the development of the ICT field.
“The key contentious issue with the bill was the need for all ICT Practitioners to be registered by the Professional Body Institution of ICT Practitioners; and that one of the key requirements for registration was a University Degree from a reputable University. Also, key stakeholders felt that the Bill was not representative of the situation on the ground and would hinder innovation rather than encourage it contrary to the ICT policy and government development agenda,” we reported.
We have also since argued that if this is how this government plans to create jobs, by creating government positions for people who probably don’t understand the space (The Council) and then taxing the youth in licensing fees to pay those salaries, we are indeed taking many steps backward.
Now, it seems that public pressure and online campaigns, both in Kenya and outside the country, have seen the withdrawal of the bill.
According to a statement from the House, President Kenyatta has declined to sign the bill.
He has, however, asked it to be sent back to Parliament for additional scrutiny.
The development means that there is a chance that many of the bill’s clauses and articled will be amended or discarded altogether.
It is also likely that some members of the ICT industry will lobby for the bill to be abandoned.
How this matter will progress is key, and we will keep an eye on it and apprise you of future developments.