Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Mr.Francis Wangusi (centre) takes Makueni Governor Prof.Kivutha Kibwana (right) around the Authority’s exhibition tent during the  Makueni County ICT Consumer Forum today.The event dubbed Kikao Kikuu is an initiative of the Authority providing a platform for engagement between the Authority,ICT Consumers and service providers in the ICT sector. 

Ease of access to mobile communications services and consumer protection took centre stage at the Communications Authority of Kenya  (CA)’s County ICT Consumer Forum in Makueni County.

The event dubbed Kikao Kikuu is a platform of engagement between the Authority, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) consumers and service providers on issues pertinent to the sector. The forum dialogue also ropes in ICT consumer organizations and ICT equipment vendors.

Consumers from Makueni raised concerns on a number of issues with specific mention  of weak TV signal coverage in the County. The Authority acknowledged the challenge  and highlighted the ongoing efforts  to boost the TV signal coverage in the hilly County.  CA noted its engagement with Broadcast Signal Distributors to rollout their digital television terrestrial  signal especially in location that has a high population like Makueni. Bamba TV, is at an advanced stage to rollout its network in Makueni, and has prospects of being on by August 2017.  

In his remarks  at the forum,  CA Director General, Francis Wangusi, said technical measures were being explored, including gap fillers, to ensure that the people of Makueni enjoyed services just like those in other parts of the country.  

Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana who presided over the event, said that as catalysts of socio-economic development, ICTs are now drivers of efficiency in service delivery in the devolved units, with his county investing heavily in ICT infrastructure, ICT capacity building and skills improvement.

‘‘We have embraced ICTs owing to the fact that it is an enabler to economic development and supports efficient service delivery which is a key requirement for any emerging economy,’’ said Prof.Kibwana.

The county has established 13 County ICT Centers to equip locals with basic computer skills, enhance access to government services online as well keeping abreast with information in their immediate environment.

Makueni has also deployed a Project Management System for tracking performance and management of the county budget as well as a Bulk SMS platform for engagement with the public on issues affecting the county.

Despite considerable gains made, Prof. Kibwana however decried challenges in access to essential communications services in the area, calling for necessary interventions to turn around the county’s fortunes.

‘‘The geographical location and topography of the county has greatly inhibited digital terrestrial TV and mobile coverage in large areas of the County, limiting access to these important resources,’’ noted the Governor.

CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi took note of the concerns put forward, adding that the Authority has put in place stringent requirements on quality of service (QoS) which are now embedded in the operators’ licenses and must be adhered to from time to time.

Mr.Wangusi also revealed that Makueni County is a beneficiary of an ongoing Education Broadband Connectivity Project that seeks to connect 896 secondary schools in the country with high speed broadband. About 28 schools in the area set to benefit from the project under the Universal Service Fund (USF), established by law to roll out communications services to areas they are inadequate or non existent.

As the ICT industry regulator, the Authority’s mandate encompasses protection of the rights of consumers of ICT services through various regulations and consumer outreach activities such as Kikao Kikuu.

Existing consumer regulations give consumers recourse against service providers in the event they are offered services that don’t conform to certain standards or meet the required quality.

The redress mechanisms provided are such that the complainant raises their concerns with the respective service provider and in the event they are not satisfied with resolution arrived at, can escalate the matter to the Authority through a dedicated email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Makueni is the 14th County to benefit from the Authority’s Kikao Kikuu forums.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Mr.Sammy Itemere (left) confers with Mr.Matano Ndaro,Director,Competition,Tarrifs and Market  Analysis at the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) during the opening ceremony of the Annual ICT Week in Nairobi today.The three-day annual event brings creates a platform of engagement between the Authority and the local ICT fraternity to reflect on issues affecting the sector

This year’s Annual ICT Week kicked off today in Nairobi, setting the stage for discussions between the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and the stakeholders in the ICT sector.

The Authority holds the ICT Week annually as part of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) celebrations held every 17th May, marking the founding of the International Telecommunications Union, the UN specialized agency for ICTs.

The event brings creates a platform of engagement between the Authority and the local ICT fraternity to reflect on issues affecting the sector.

This year’s theme, ‘Big Data for Big Impact’, explores the power of big data and mechanisms of translating huge quantities of data into information that can drive development.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event, ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru -who was represented by Broadcasting and Telecommunication PS Sammy Itemere- said data is increasingly becoming a critical driver of the information society.

Mr. Mucheru cited rapid technological advances have enhanced processing and analysis of data making it easy for Governments to create policies and services that resonate with the needs of the citizens.

‘‘This way we can help those we serve to live better, more securely, more healthily and more prosperous lives,’’ said Mr.Mucheru.

He added that Government is currently reviewing ICT Sector Policy Guidelines to incorporate emergent technologies such as Big Data and enhance their adoption in government and the private sector. Additionally, the Access to Information and Data Protection Bill is awaiting presentation to the National Assembly to actualize Article 35 of the Constitution on right of access to information.
CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said a number of regulatory interventions have been put in pace to enhance confidence of consumers in the digital environment and exploitation of Big Data.

‘‘At the regulatory level, we have a number of regulations, including the Cyber Security 2016, the Electronic Transactions Regulation and the Electronic Certification and Domain Name Administration,’’ said Mr.Wangusi who was represented by Mr.Matano Ndaro, Director in charge of Competition, Tarrifs and Market Analysis at CA.

ITU Secretary General Mr.Houlin Zhao, in his message on the WTISD, said analysis of Big Data would enable evidence-based decision-making at national, regional and international levels and help the implementation of all 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

‘‘It will also be an occasion to take a closer look at the importance of governance and regulation, and the implications for personal privacy and security given the future exponential growth in data and connectivity,’’ added Mr. Zhao.

The Annual ICT Week ends this Friday.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has warned of the emergence of a lethal ransomware virus that is spreading at an alarming speed and wrecking havoc to computer users globally.

Through the National Kenya Computer Incident Response Team Co-ordination Centre (National KE-CIRT/CC), the Authority received reports of the encryption based cyber attack in form of ransomware that goes by the various names; Wannacry, Wannacrypt0r and WannaDecrypt0r that specifically targets Windows based computers.

‘‘The ransomware virus has been reported to have infected tens of thousands of computers across the world and continues to spread,’’ said the Authority in a statement.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to the computer until a ransom has been paid. Once a computer has been infected with the virus, it tries to infect other computers within the network and denies users access to information until they pay ransom. The Authority has warned the public against temptations to yield to those demands.

‘‘Individuals and organizations are discouraged from paying the ransom, as this does not guarantee that access will be restored,’’ warned the Authority.

To stay safe, the Authority advises computer users to observe a number of precautions including ensuring they have an up-to-date back up of their files offline to ensure the information can be easily restored in the event of an attack.

Users of machines, specifically those running on Windows Operating System, should ensure the software is regularly updated and only use up-to-date anti viruses. They should also desist from opening attachments from suspicious sources.

‘‘Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments or emails from people or sources you don’t know or companies you don’t do business with,’’ warned the CA.

 

For emails containing links or attachments, users are particularly warned to watch out for sources that instruct them to enable macros to view content, in which case, if in doubt, they should delete the email immediately.

 

The National KE-CIRT/CC is Kenya’s national cyber crime management trusted point of contact. Cyber crime incidents can be reported through: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or website www.ke-cirt.go.ke. Kenyans can also report or seek advice on cyber security through dedicated hotlines +254703042700 and +254730170700.

 

 

You can read the full statement here.