The current ministry’s mandate is formulation, administration, managing and developing the Information, Broadcasting and Communications policy. This comprises the formulation of policies and laws that regulate standards and services in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector, Telecommunications and the Media industry. In addition, the ministry is also charged with the responsibility of developing and administering ICT standards, building capacity of mass media and ICT, and the dissemination of public information through the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
There are currently two major functions within the Ministry of ICT:
- ICT and Innovation
- Broadcasting and Telecommunications
Functions of the ICT and Innovation Department
- National ICT policy and innovation
- Promote e-Government
- Promotion of software development industry
- ICT Agency (E-Government, Kenya ICT Board and Government Information Technology Services)
- Provision of ICT technical support to MDAs
- Policy on automation of Government Services
- Development of National Communication Capacity and Infrastructure
- Management of National Fibre Optic Infrastructure
Functions of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Department
- Telecommunication policy
- Broadcasting policy
- Language policy management
- Public Communication
- Government Advertising Agency
- Coordination of National Government Advertising services
- Postal and courier services
- Government Telecommunication services
To achieve their mandate, the current ministry has developed the Kenya National ICT Masterplan (2014-2017), that is meant to align with the constitution, the Jubilee manifesto, Vision 2030 and any laws enacted between 2012 – 2014 that directly influence ICTof Information Communication and Technology.
Our Assessment of the Functions
Our Assessment of the two major functions as described in the current government ICT ministry is adequate. Our only recommendation is that the details of how these functions are carried out and measured should be made available as part of the public accountability code.
Jubilee vs Thirdway Alliance policy priorities
- Complete the development and provision of infrastructure (national fibre optic infrastructure), and last mile connectivity, especially in the rural areas
- E-Government services, which aims at ensuring provision of e-Government information and services as key to improving productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and governance in all key sectors.
- ICT as a Driver of Industry, which aims at transforming key Vision 2030 2nd MTP economic sectors to significantly enhance productivity, global competitiveness and growth.
- Developing ICT Businesses that can produce and or provide exportable quality products and services that are comparable to the best in the world.
- Complete the development and provision of infrastructure (national fiber optic infrastructure), and last mile connectivity, especially in the rural areas
- Enable e-government services across all ministries, government, and quasi-government institutions. The goal will be to provide information, services as a key driver to enhancing productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and governance. 1b. Provide e-government services across all counties utilizing the agency model.
- ICT as a driver for job creation, poverty reduction, and employment.
- Government procures locally made software
- ICT career paths begin and encouraged at an early age (primary school)
- Develop and Maintain ICT centers of Excellence (high end skills development and scholarship program)
- Enhancing ICT entrepreneurial infrastructures by establishing multi-purpose ICT parks which will attract both foreign and domestic entrepreneurs.
- Operationalize Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Policy and Strategy to encourage promotion of ICT innovations
- Leveraging future technologies (Block chain, IoT, Cloud etc.)
- Develop a robust ICT value chain infrastructure that amongst other things:
- Encourages and promotes local production of ICT hardware and software.
- Zero rates locally programmed software to encourage local businesses to buy local software
- Entrench ICT civic digital engagement instruments as a key part of leveraging public accountability.
- Provide an enabling environment for all existing and potential licensees, investors; consumers of ICT services, public, civil society, and Government MDAs.
- Develop and maintain a framework that addresses the media industry players and stakeholders for inclusivity
Our Assessment of the Priority Pillars
A quick review of both party’s priority pillars demonstrates that Thirdway Alliance Kenya has developed a set of pillars that are more robust and inclusive that the Jubilee pillars. Notwithstanding this, the ICT Master plan created by the Ministry of ICT is very detailed. A key pillar for Thirdway Alliance Kenya that we would like to point out is Pillar #5 which addresses corruption, wastage of public funds, and provides an avenue for advocacy by the Kenya citizens. We believe that every party should be held accountable for how it runs the government and that the voice of the citizen is a key vehicle for public accountability. The key to this is an open government that provides information and agrees to be audited by its citizens.
Issue to Address
- Is there a civic digital engagement infrastructure used by the government for public accountability?
- Since there is a budget allocated to the Big 4 agenda, and ICT plays a prominent role, what mechanisms are in place to make sure that the ICT section of the Big 4 is properly funded and that there are KPIs to measure and check over budgeting, theft and wastage?
- There are several issues not addressed in the Jubilee pillars, that Thirdway Alliance Kenya recognize are key
- What is the status on the implementation of the ICT Master Plan?
- Is there any audit that has been undertaken to establish the effectiveness of the programs “implemented” to date? For example – how effective is the digital literacy program?
- The Shadow ICT ministry will develop a detailed ICT Masterplan based on a sound strategy incorporating the 6 pillars identified in section 2.
- The Shadow ICT ministry will develop a comprehensive engagement plan that puts the Ministry of ICT under the Jubilee administration in check. This engagement plan with entail a strong digital engagement footprint and will be available not only to Thirdway Alliance Kenya members but the citizens of Kenya
- The Shadow ICT ministry will look for partnerships both locally and externally to assist in the implementation of some of the ICT pillars.
- Thirdway Alliance Kenya through the support of the Shadow ICT ministry, will build a party that is driven by the current digital transformation trends. Our points of engagement with members, the Kenyan citizens and other stakeholders will be primarily digital
Our promise as the Thirdway Alliance Kenya is that we want to take back our country from bad leadership. We believe the Shadow Ministry of ICT is a critical component in delivering this promise. We pledge as a ministry to utilize the deep ICT knowledge that exists within the youth and Kenyans at large to transform this country into a truly digital economy.