Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) chairman Mr. Ngene Gituku (left) with Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya (centre) and the CA's Ag.Director,Consumer and Public Affairs, Mr.Christopher Wambua (right)  during the Kwale county ICT forum today. The  ICT consumer forum, dubbed ‘Kikao Kikuu' is an  initiative aimed at sensitizing consumers of ICT services on their rights and responsibilities within the ICT environment

The proliferation of ICTs in the country is increasingly exposing children to various forms of cybercrime, the Chairman of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has said.

The crimes include cyber-bullying, sexual exploitation, and child pornography. Speaking today at an ICT consumer forum in Kwale County, Mr. Ngene Gituku said CA had, as a result, partnered with various stakeholders to implement mechanisms to safeguard children online safety.

“The Authority is implementing the second phase of the Child Online Protection campaign. Areas of focus include legislative framework, capacity building, research, local and international cooperation as well as public awareness to develop skills and knowledge in this area,” said Mr. Gituku. The County ICT consumer forum, dubbed ‘Kikao Kikuu’, is a CA initiative aimed at sensitizing consumers of ICT services on their rights and responsibilities within the ICT environment.

The event is hosted in partnership with county governments, and has to date been held in 11 counties since inception in 2014. Mr Gituku said the Authority was in the process of implementing universal access projects to address communications gaps in various parts of the country. “Kwale County is among those earmarked to benefit from the projects that will cover several sub-locations in the area with telecommunication voice services including Kasemeni, Kilimangodo, Mwandimu, Busa,Vigurungani, Kilibasi,” he added.

The CA Board chair announced that various schools in the county would also gain through the school-based broadband connectivity project including Kwale High, Tsimba Secondary, Golini Secondary, Waa Boys High, and Waa Girls Secondary. .

The Authority has also supported Kwale Community Centre library as part of efforts to enhance access to communications services in the county. Addressing the forum ‘s participants at the Ukunda Show Ground, Kwale County Governor Mr. Salim Mvurya lauded CA for joining hands with county governments to create synergies for awareness creation on various issues of consumer interest, including safety of children in the virtual world.

“We have set out plans to improve communication systems and services through ICTs. It is our responsibility to ensure these systems and new technologies are safeguarded as the locals engage with them,” said Governor Mvurya. Governor Mvurya said the county would leverage on such initiatives by the Authority as Kikao Kikuu to enlighten the citizens on safe Internet use as well as guidelines to protect susceptible sections of the population from the unforeseen risks online.

Majority of Kenyans access the Internet through their mobile phones. In Kenya, mobile subscriptions have now hit 39.7 million with the mobile penetration reaching 90 per cent.

According to CA statistics, Kenya had 37.7 Internet users as at June 2016, translating to a penetration rate of 85.3 per cent.

Besides the county ICT forums, the Authority is also devolving its services. It now has a regional office in Mombasa serving the six counties in the region including Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Taita Taveta and Lamu and another one in Eldoret serving 11 counties in the larger Western and North Rift regions.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Mr.Sammy Itemere during a stakeholder workshop on the National Addressing Sysem (NAS).The Authority is  rolling  out the addressing system  to boost e-commerce and speed disaster response 

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is fast tracking a process to have a nation-wide numbering and addressing system to boost the uptake of e-commerce and improve service delivery.

The Authority held the second stakeholders meeting today, during which, a multi-sectorial National Addressing System (NAS) Steering Committee was also unveiled and a Universal Postal Union’s consultant report on strategy for the development and deployment on NAS for Kenya shared.

This second stakeholders meeting follows an earlier one held on 18th March this year to kick start the National Addressing System.

NAS is a framework that provides for, among others, the naming/numbering of streets and/properties and coding to facilitate easy identification and location of such places on the ground.
Most homes and small businesses lack proper addresses, slowing down the growth of e-commerce that relies on timely and efficient delivery of goods to customers making orders online of through telephone calls.

Besides easy identification and location places, the NAS is also expected to boost the e-commerce in the country. With this system, online retailers like Rupu, Jumia and OLX will now be able to offer door-to-door deliveries.

Cab hailing services like Uber, LittleCabs and Dandia will be able to locate their passengers with more precision, while food deliveries and supermarket grocery shopping will be made a lot easier.

“The Authority is prioritizing the coordination of the development of a National Addressing System (NAS) in line with our statutory mandate that includes the development of information and communication sector and electronic commerce,” Francis Wangusi, CA director general said during the event.
Other benefits include increased revenue collections by Kenya Revenue Authority KRA from the exploded e-commerce opportunities. KRA will also increase their tax base because the system will make it easy for them to easily identify businesses and the precise locations.

During the financial year 2015/2016 which ended in June, the total number of courier items sent increased to 3.8 million items, up from 2.5 million recorded in the previous year.
There were 227.3 million mobile commerce transactions translating to Ksh. 404.1 in value for good and services purchased in the country.
The Authority received technical assistance from the UPU on the proper methodology of establishing an effective National Addressing System. This assisted the country develop a clear roadmap for our National Addressing System.

The Authority is in the process of procuring a consultant to, among others tasks; develop the necessary standards and guidelines that will drive the process in accordance with international recognized practices.

Schedule 4 of the Constitution gives the mandate of physical planning to counties, a requirement that has seen CA to collaborate with the devolved governments to ensure that county numbering and address system conforms to the national one.

Sammy Itemere, Principal Secretary, Ministry of information, Communications and Technology said e-commerce explosions will not be just for the formal trade segments.
“Mama mbogas, the guy that sells clothes at Toi market and the mama usafis at the local neighborhoods will be able to develop on-call services that will be enabled by the addressing systems. All these e-commerce explosions will mean more time saved by people and more revenue by KRA.” Mr Itemere said.

 

L-R: Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Mr. Sammy Itemere, Tourism Principal Secretary  Ms. Fatuma Hirsi, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb.(Dr.) Amina Mohamed, ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru and Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi at the 26th Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress in Istanbul,Turkey.

Kenya has been elected into three key positions in a top UN agency dealing with the postal services.
Kenya’s Amb. Bishar Hussein has been re-elected as the Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) for a further four-year term (2017-2020).

Kenya was also elected as a member of the UPU Council of Administration (CA) and the Postal Operations Council (POC), at elections held at the ongoing 26th UPU Congress in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Congress is the top decision-making organ of the UPU, and is held after four years. The Council of Administration on the other hand ensures the continuity of UPU’s work between congresses, and consists of 41 member countries. The Postal Operations Council is the technical and operational mind of the UPU and consists of 40 member countries, also elected during Congress.

Amb. Bishar was first elected in 2012 during the 25th Congress in Doha, Qatar, and will now serve up to 2020. Mr. Pascal Clivaz, a Swiss national, was also re-elected as the UPU Deputy Director General.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohamed and her ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru, led the campaign for Kenya’s candidacies during the Congress. Other members of Kenya’s delegation to the UPU Congress included Sammy Itemere, Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Fatuma Hirsi, Principal Secretary for Tourism, and Francis Wangusi, Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

On his re-election, Amb. Hussein thanked UPU member states for the trust shown to him through this re-election and pledged to continue serving the Union diligently in his second mandate.

“I will work with member countries to help them develop new products and services that are relevant to today's demands by postal customers. We must continuously innovate and improve our products and services to remain competitive and relevant to the market,” Amb. Hussein said.

The UPU Congress ends tomorrow.