In Summary

  • Mobile operators decried the many permits that numerous agencies demand before they allow the extension of services to rural areas.
  • Sometimes it can, and does, get nasty and personal.
  • A solution that addresses only one aspect of the problem - as perceived by a single set of stakeholders - will in the long-term aggravate, rather than solve the problem.

Last week, the new Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Mr Joe Mucheru, was kind enough to bring his two Principal Secretaries, Mr Victor Kyalo and Mr. Sammy Itemere, along to a meeting hosted by the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet.)

KICTANet is a multi-stakeholder platform for individuals and institutions interested and involved in ICT policy and regulation in Kenya.

It aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT sector, in support of national aims of ICT-enabled growth and development.

At the meeting, the CS was handed an ICT Wish List which had been crowd-sourced over five days from media, civil society, academia, companies, regulators and software developers, amongst others who subscribe to KICTAnet.

Rolling out ICT infrastructure and services to the county level was mentioned. In particular, mobile operators decried the many permits that numerous agencies demand before they allow the extension of services to rural areas.

President Uhuru Kenyatta witnesses as newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Technology, Mr Joseph Mucheru, takes his oath of office at State House, Nairobi, on December 18, 2015. PHOTO | SAMUEL MIRING'U | NATION

In traditional governance frameworks, stakeholders, or  people who have an interest in a particular issue, coalesce around groupings categorised by industry (e.g. the GSM Association), profession (e.g. the Law Society of Kenya) or politics (e.g. Jubilee or Cord).

PROFESSIONAL "BLIND SPOT"

It is always easier for the government to engage with such organised groupings, since they represent and articulate consolidated positions.

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