CA Chairman Mr. Ngene Gituku( centre)  addresses the media during the Press Conference at the Authority. On his left is Director General Francis Wangusi and the Acting Director Consumer and Public Affairs Mr. Christopher Wambua.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has no intention of splitting the business of market players in the telecommunications sub-sector or take such drastic actions create disruptions that may destabilize dominant market players. Chairman of the CA Board, Mr Ngene Gituku confirmed that Authority’s spirit is to undertake take modest regularity measures that are focused on the progress of the sector. 

While addressing a press conference earlier today, the Chairman also confirmed that CA plans to release the Competition Study in May.  The study, carried out by Analysys Mason, on behalf of the Authority, aims at establishing the degree of competition and its effectiveness in various telecommunications markets in the country.

 “Dominant Market Power and Regulated Services reports will be released once the required processes as stipulated in the constitution, ICT sector law and the Fair Competition and Equality Treatment as well as the Tariffs Regulations have been concluded.”  Mr. Gituku said.

The assurance came amidst claims that the report had already been released by the Authority. Mr Gituku, said, “The Authority is targeting to finalize and release the final report in May 2017 after consultation with stakeholders in line with constitutional requirements.” Mr Gituku noted that the study was undertaken in close consultations with the industry and the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) as envisaged in the ICT sector law. CAK reverted to CA with comments on the report on 6th March 2017 and the report is now under review by CA.

The law mandates CA to develop ex-ante competition safeguards to prevent any potential abuse of dominance. The safeguards are meant to deter the degeneration of dominance into anti-competitive behaviour to the detriment of sectoral growth, investments and consumer welfare. 

The Authority has affirmed that dominance in any market segment is not in itself an offence. It is the abuse and the potential of abuse of dominance that must regulated.  Uncompetitiveness in the sector has the potential to compromise consumer welfare in terms of limited access to services, poor quality of service, high tariffs and limited choice, if it is not regulated.  Abuse of dominance could also lead to barriers to entry into the market and ultimately result in market failure.

The objectives of the study include the identification of players and respective market shares, as well as market barriers that may prevent entry or competition or growth of players.  The study is also expected to provide proposals on elimination of the identified barriers, establish anti-competitive behavior and also recommend regulatory response to competition issues that will have been identified in the existing regulatory framework.   

The Authority’s goal is to maintain a competitive telecommunications landscape, which promotes consumer welfare and lays a conducive environment for investment in the sector. Such a landscape serves to foster growth of the sector and by implications the socio-economic development of the country. The Authority’s focus is to stimulate innovation and catalyze other sectors of the economy. 

The Full Statement can be accessed from here.

L-R; Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO Mr. Ezra Chiloba, CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi, Media Council of Kenya CEO Dr. Harun Mwangi  and CAs Director of Multimedia Services Eng. Leo Boruett during the forum

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in collaboration with other agencies today met broadcasters to discuss responsible reporting ahead of the forthcoming General Elections.

The meeting broadly focussed on the need for broadcasters to watch out on hate speech during the coverage of the electioneering period and adherence to the Programming Code and Complaints Handling Procedure that has been put in place by the Authority which prescribes standards for broadcasting.

The two regulations demand that broadcasters provide fair coverage to all political players and publicize their established complaints handling mechanisms so that any aggrieved audiences can register their concerns on any content aired.

‘‘Section 25 of the Regulations and the Programme Code, calls on broadcasters to among other conditions; serve the public interest at all times and provide equitable coverage opportunities to registered political parties participating in an election and in particular to presidential candidates,’’ said CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi.

Mr. Wangusi said that while the Authority recognizes constitutional provisions for right to freedom of expression, broadcasters are expected to provide credible news and foster peace during the electioneering period.

“We will be counting on you to provide the public with balanced information, while exercising caution, so as not to provide a platform for individuals to propagate ideas that could cause tension or incite the public to violence” added Mr. Wangusi.

The meeting was also attended by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) CEO Dr. Harun Mwangi, his  National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) counterpart Mr. Hassan Mohamed, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO  Mr. Ezra Chiloba and the Director of Criminal Investigations,Mr. Ndegwa Muhoro.

Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi (third right), Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa (second right) and Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Mr.Sammy Itemere (right) at the CA stand at the Busia County ICT forum,Kikao Kikuu today.The initiative by the Authority seeks to create awareness on consumer rights and obligations within the ICT sector in the counties.

The role of innovations in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector and their role in socio-economic development, was the centre of discussions at the 13th edition of the County ICT Consumer Forum, popularly known as Kikao Kikuu in Busia County.

Themed ICT innovations for digital inclusion, the event saw stakeholders share ideas on how to reap the benefits of ICTs that have now become great enablers of change in communities, individuals, businesses, industry sectors, and governments.

ICTs have revolutionized how daily activities are accomplished and processes executed.  This has drawn tremendous positive impact on social and economic development of various regions.

Kikao Kikuu, which is hosted, by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and county governments is a platform of engagement between users of ICT services and their service providers as well as government on the access to and quality of ICT services.

Speaking at the event the CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said ICTs now present a great opportunity for even the smallest business, by reducing the cost of transactions leading to added revenue generation.   He added the Authority will continue to partner with County governments to rope in as many Kenyans to access ICTs.

‘‘The Communications Authority of Kenya is very keen to work closely with the County Governments in an effort to ensure that counties take full advantage of ICTs and the potential they have to spur innovation and other sectors,’ said Mr.Wangusi.

As Kenya increasingly becomes an information society, its economic success and social development are heavily driven by availability and accessibility of information and technology.  ICTs have seen the proliferation of e-services in communication, trade, employment, education, government, and health.

It is for this reason that Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Mr. Sammy Itemere says the government is progressively investing in the deployment of ICT infrastructure as a means of promoting digital inclusion.

‘‘Digital inclusion leads to improved education and employment outcomes. For instance, as individuals enhance their ICT skills, they can greatly improve their earnings and their probability of finding employment,’’ said Mr.Itemere.

He added that besides the laptop programme targeting primary schools in the country, the Ministry of ICT has recently launched a programme dubbed Ajira Digital Program to enable young people gain skills to enable the, work and earn income online.

Mr. Itemere also noted that enhanced access to ICTs increased interaction between citizens as well as their participation in decision-making processes. And in order to achieve greater digital inclusion for the citizens, Mr. Itemere said a number of initiatives can be undertaken, including provision of low cost broadband in the rural areas, promotion of digital literacy and other technology training in trusted and comfortable locations like libraries, community ICT centers, churches and schools, among others.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojamoong - in a speech read on his behalf by the Deouty governor Kizito Wangalwa- said ICTs have assisted the devolved governments increase revenue collection as well as enhancing service delivery as citizens can now access most of service online.  The County has initiated a number of ICT connectivity projects including establishment of information centres, metro network fibre, among others to boost the ICT uptake.  

‘‘ICTs are an enabler for other sectors of the economy because it has the capacity to accelerate the provision of primary services such as healthcare, education and disaster relief, while strengthening social and economic outcomes,’’ said Governor Ojamoong.

From Busia, the Kikao Kikuu forums head to Baringo, Nyeri and Makueni counties.