25 June 2014

Kenya: Uhuru Appoints New CA Board Chairman

President Uhuru has appointed Ben Ngene Gituku as chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya's board, ending the wait as telecommunications regulator undergoes transition.

Gituku is the immediate former chairman of the Communications Commission of Kenya, which has now been rebranded to the Communications Authority. He had been appointed in 2012 by the former President, Mwai Kibaki.

He did not complete his first term as the organisation had to undergo the mandatory transition, as required under the Kenya Information Communications (Amendment) Act 2013. Board members had to reapply and undergo a rigorous interview and selection process.

Gituku's appointment is contained in a special issue of the Kenya Gazette. Three names were forwarded to President Uhuru to pick from after a rigorous recruitment process that started with job advertisement in the Press. The three were Gituku, Nobert Muriuki and John Kariuki.

The selection panel had representatives from various interest groups including the Media Council of Kenya, Consumer Federation of Kenya, Kenya Private Sector Alliance and Institute of Engineers of Kenya, received 11 applications.

President Uhuru graced the rebrand occasion of CA yesterday said the authority will aid the government to fight insecurity. "I have recently established a technology-enabled transformation that will help to achieve a digital registry ecosystem, better intelligence service and better delivery of public services," he said.

CA's director-general Francis Wangusi said it will open four regional offices countrywide in Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri. "We take pride in the new identity which we will use to stimulate further growth in the ICT sector," Wangusi said.

He said the former CCK was functional for 15 years and attracted investments from 13 international gateway operators, 28 network facility operators, 11 application service providers, 168 content service providers and over 160 couriers.

CA has approved Safaricom's application for a new operating licence having invited objections from the public in May over a 30-day window. "Safaricom has successful applied for the new licence and it has paid initial licence fees of $27 million (Sh2.36 billion). We will hold interactive sessions with our licensees and consumers to deliberate on issues affecting the industry," Wangusi said.

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