12 March 2014

Kenya to Review Its ICT Policy

The government is currently reviewing the ICT policy in order to stimulate the development of advanced and high capacity ICT infrastructure throughout the country, the ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i has said.

Dr Matiang'i who was speaking at the Conference on ICT Opportunities for Counties in Kenya held at Naivasha said his ministry will soon be subjecting the country's draft ICT policy to the public for discussion and to get feedback in the new document that will also give focus to the counties.

"We shall soon be subjecting the draft ICT Policy to public consultation in line with the Constitution and encourage stakeholders, including county governments to submit their inputs to help in coming up with a policy document that meets the needs of the counties," he said.

The new policy will be all inclusive and aligned with the new constitution and vision 2030 as the previous national ICT master plan was not addressing the entire ICT sector but merely the communications authority.

Although the launch date is yet to be communicated the policy is expected to be launched in April during the Connected Kenya annual event.

The cabinet secretary has also revealed that the government was working on a policy document to guide the utilization of the digital dividend to arise from the digital migration which will create more choice through licensing of additional TV channels and widen the frequency spectrum to create room for more advanced ICT services, including mobile broadband.

"At the same time, my Ministry is developing a policy document to guide the utilization of the digital dividend that will arise as a result of the transition," he added.

Matiangi also cautioned county governments from adding taxes to ICT service providers saying this could frustrate investors in the sector rather asking them to provide a conducive environments for ICT infrastructure development in the counties.

The two day Conference on ICT opportunities for counties in Kenya under the theme "Transforming lives through stimulation of growth of the ICT sector in counties" is being attended by delegates including the International Telecommunications Union, the communications authority, cabinet secretaries, and other stakeholders.

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