Gov’t Launches Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy Sector Working Group on Policy, Legislative Reforms

    The Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy Sector Working Group on Policy and Legislative Reforms has been officially launched by Mr. Eliud Owalo, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy.

    In his speech, CS Owalo made note of the group of technocrats who have been specifically chosen to guide the nation in reforming its policies, laws, and other laws in a number of areas that fall under the purview of the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy.

    “We are, accordingly, at the start of reforms that should align the various legal and policy instruments that govern the mandate of the Ministry and it’s Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs), with newly-emerged and developing realities within our operational and service environment,” he stated.

    The CS highlighted that as the present supportive legislations in the dynamic sector are already more than 25 years old, there is a need for reform in the policy, legal, and regulatory environment within the Ministry’s main missions.

    Notably, all sub-sectors have seen considerable advancements in technology over the past 25–30 years, necessitating the need to update both law and policy.

    The CS mentioned the necessity for accommodations for new technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cryptocurrencies, and other digital assets.

    The Working Group will be tasked with reviewing the current institutional, administrative, legislative, policy, and operational structures, systems, and strategies, and recommending comprehensive reforms in the Sector.

    It will also be tasked with identifying emerging technologies and other areas that require legal and policy intervention and developing the necessary legislative and policy proposals.

    They will also draught pertinent Bills, draught Policies, and Strategy documents as well as perform any other assessments and advise on necessary reforms to help the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy fulfil its current mandate and expectations in a rapidly changing operational environment.

    Among other things, the Task Force’s deliverables include a Task Force Report, Implementation Matrix, and draught legislative and policy proposals.

    The Sector Working Group’s term of office shall be for a period of six months beginning on the date of gazettement, but the Cabinet Secretary may, under certain circumstances, extend it.

    Broadcasting and Telecommunication PS Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani and ICT and the Digital Economy PS Eng. John Tanui were in attendance with CS Owalo.

    The National Assembly’s ICT Committee Chairman, Hon. John Kiarie, and the Chairs and CEOs of the Ministry’s SAGAs were also in attendance.

    In addition to other stakeholders, those in attendance were the Editors’ Guild, Media Owners Association, Digital Broadcasters, and Kenyan Bloggers.