Consumer Education Outreach
Technology is fast-changing. Even though it may look simplified compared to the past, consumers are often times not able to keep up with all the changes and their implications. The Authority, as the ICT regulator is mandated to sensitize consumers of ICT services on issues that directly affect them.
The Authority carries out Consumer Education Outreach Programmes that aim to empower consumers by providing them with relevant information. Educating consumers is an effective mechanism to protect them as it helps them make informed choices when purchasing and using ICTs.
The Authority has in the past carried out consumer education outreach programmes targeting users of mobile and Internet services through a campaign dubbed ‘Chukua Hatua’ and another targeting Postal/Courier Consumers dubbed ‘Kaa Macho’.
Other consumer awareness initiatives that the Authority has carried out focused on Registration of SIM Cards, Mobile Number Portability, Anti-Counterfeit campaign, Migration from analogue to digital broadcasting, and Universal Access projects by the Authority.
Other areas of focus by the Authority in creating awareness in include:
1. Consumer Forums in Counties under the banner ‘ Kikao Kikuu’
These forums are public events or “barazas” held in central locations that are easily accessible to users members of the public. The forums which began in 2014 have provided an an opportunity for consumers to interact with communication service providers to discuss issues of concern.
2. Child Online Protection
Children today are early adopters of ICTs yet they are the most vulnerable consumers. Computers have brought untold benefits to children around the world as the number of connected households increase.
The Authority takes cognizance of the fact that children are vulnerable in the cyber space. To address this vulnerable group, the Authority, in 2011, held a multi-stakeholder workshop dubbed “Protecting Children in Cyberspace: Whose responsibility is it?” to engender conversations amongst various stakeholders on measures to secure children online.
In 2015, the the Authority rolled out a Child Online Protection (COP) programme bringing together various stakeholders,to equip both children and their parents or guardians with information and skills to enable them practice safe Internet use and minimize/eliminate exposure to risks and vulnerabilities.
Over the years, this campaign has triggered the development of other initiatives, services and mechanisms that ensure child safety online.
The Authority holds workshops with stakeholders on various subject matters of consumer interest from time to time. The Authority has in the past held workshops on various topics including child online protection; women, girls and ICT and E-Access workshop for Persons living with Disabilities (PwDs) among others.
The Authority shall continue to hold workshops on relevant issues affecting the ICT industry.
a. Women, Girls and ICT
The Authority recognizes that every person living in Kenya has the right to equal access to information as stipulated in the Constitution. Women and girls, however, face various challenges, which deny them the opportunity to enjoy access and use of ICTs.
To explore issues affecting women and girls and regulatory interventions that can be employed to facilitate access and use of ICT’s, the Authority organized a two-day workshop with the theme “Women, Girls and ICT” in June 2013 to focus on this issue.
The workshop also aimed at identifying partnerships and frameworks to address rights and responsibilities of women and girls towards ICT.
b. E-Accessibility Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)
Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) face numerous challenges in accessing information, purchasing and use of communication services. The Authority, as the ICT regulator, envisions that all persons in Kenya shall have access to ICT services. In light of this the Authority has implemented various initiatives that aimed at providing access to ICTs for PwDs.
The Authority in 2012, held a workshop themed ‘E- Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities’. The workshop’s main aim was to create a platform where issues and challenges around provision of communication services to persons with disabilities were raised and effort to resolve them initiated. In addition, the workshop saw the launch of a web portal www.kenyadisability.or.ke that caters to Persons with Disabilities.The development of the portal was supported by the Authority. This is a partnership with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWDs) and the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK) .