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Kenyan govt won't budge on controversial ICT Practitioners Bill

Kenya , 26 Oct 2018

Kenyan govt won't budge on controversial ICT Practitioners Bill

A parliamentary committee overseeing ICT is looking to have the controversial ICT Practitioners Bill reintroduced to enforce the licensing of all ICT workers in Kenya.

At the opening of the Connected Kenya 2018 Summit in Nairobi, Hon. William Kisang, Chair of ICT Committee at the National Assembly, said: "We tried last time but we had issues, but we will be looking to engage you [public] soon."

The Bill requires all existing and prospective ICT personnel to possess a relevant degree and a minimum of three years' experience in the field.

It also requires that all ICT workers register with a licensing institute and pay a yearly fee for the accreditation.

Kisang said they are considering ways to accommodate those without degrees. "We have doctors and everyone else who are innovators in this country. We should engage so that we do not leave anyone behind."

In May 2018 Katherine Getao, ICT Secretary at the ICT Ministry said the Bill will be passed because of a lack of internal regulation by Kenya's ICT industry.

Kisang added that parliament should be more agile in enacting laws that suit current trends and technologies. "There are laws we enacted five years ago and already they are obsolete because the technology has changed.

He said laws like the Kenya Information and Communication (KICA) Act will be reviewed to align it with new technology.

Drafted in 1998, KICA was established to regulate the East African country's communication sector.

In the interim, the ICT Practitioners Bill remains controversial and some industry experts have slammed its introduction saying it would only limit innovation.

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