NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – The Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) industry is expected to experience changes in terms of regulations come June this year, once the review of sector policy guidelines is complete.
The move to revise the 2006 National ICT Sector Policy Guidelines has been necessitated by rapidly growing technology.
ICT Cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru says a lot of areas in the sector have see changes in terms of introduction and use of new technology hence need to regulate and manage them to avoid things like competition conflicts.
“The review is aimed at taking into account the rapid changes that have taken place within the ICT sector over the eight years since its development in 2006,” he told various stakeholders in the sector who will be allowed to give their input during the process.
A draft document on the policy guidelines was developed in 2015 but upon extensive consultation, it was felt that it required further input aimed at providing a more inclusive document incorporating additional new and emerging issues within the ICT sector.
The review process will be carried out through three sectoral groups where the first group will focus on the infrastructural issues, the other will handle devices, applications and content while the third sectoral group will address the new and emerging issues.
The infrastructure team is expected to come up with strategic objectives to enhance ICT impact in the public sector as articulated in the e-Government strategic plan.
The devices, applications and content is supposed to come up with proposals that will result in availability and affordability of devices.
On new and emerging issues, it is expected that the output from the team will provide insight into best practice policy articulation on big data, cyber security, mobile money integration and virtual network services such as Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNOs).
“I would want to say that there may be a lot of challenges that have affected the sector due to the way its growing fast. But what we are looking at more is the opportunities that have come up with this that need to managed for them… For example you saw the crisis that came with Uber taxi, Netflix and others,” CS Mucheru explained.
He says at the end there maybe changes in licensing like in areas of broadcasting, electronics as well us internet.
“For example, at the moment, how do you license a person broadcasting online and that in mainstream media? These are the things we are looking at. However we want all the stakeholders involved so that we can have one final conclusive document,” he said