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Government starts search for the Universal Service Advisory Council Board Members

The government has started the search for new members of the Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC), a process that, when completed, will end the three-year vacancy in the positions. Through the Public Service Commission, the government today advertised the positions of chairperson and eight board members of the Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC).

“Applications are invited from suitably qualified Kenyans wishing to be considered for nomination to the post of chairperson or member of the Universal Service Advisory Council,” stated the PSC advertisement. USAC provides strategic policy guidance for the administration and implementation of the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The USF was set up in 2013 to support widespread access, capacity building, and innovation in information and communications technology services.

The USF draws its finances from contributions from telecommunication service providers, broadcasters, and postal and courier operators, who are required to remit 0.5 percent of their gross annual turnover into the fund.

The Authority undertook ICT access gap studies in 2016 and 2021 to determine access to ICTs by the public in all areas of the country. To redress the access gaps, the authority has undertaken a number of projects and initiated several others for implementation.

Some of the projects include the deployment of mobile telecommunications infrastructure and services in unserved and underserved areas in Kenya and broadband connectivity to public secondary schools. Others are the open education resources with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development KICD, the provision of digital content for learners with print disabilities in collaboration with KIB, and the digital dissemination of agricultural content in collaboration with Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization KALRO. Automation of the police occurrence book in Nairobi with the National Police Service NPS and automation of some court stations in Kenya with the judiciary are some of the ongoing USF projects.

In the mobile voice infrastructure, the Authority has connected 127 sublocations, and projects are ongoing in 118 sublocations. The project has so far ensured mobile connectivity coverage for over 700,000 Kenyans.