Ministry of ICT Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiangi

After the much publicised President Uhuru’s directive in June that all ICT authorities (bodies) in the country be merged into a single entity, now Kenya ICT Board, Directorate of eGovernment and Government Information Technology Services (GITS) are collectively going to be under the newly created Kenya ICT Authority, under the Ministry of ICT.

The many ICT bodies were disintegrated with various heads of departments pulling in different directions. Office of the former President, Mwai Kibaki, refused to let go of the eGovernment department while the Treasury had the Government Information Technology Services (GITS) under it. All these together with the Kenya ICT Board now fall under the Ministry of ICT.

The merger is such a welcome move in the ICT industry. The new body will create policies to be passed by parliament later to be implemented throughout the various government arms but with the supervision of the same Kenya ICT Authority.

The new arrangement proposed through a publication by Research ICT Africa will end the current scenario where the Kenya ICT Board and the OP based eGovernment Directorate would duplicate functions. The latter was a channel for major infrastructure contracts in the former administration while Kenya ICT Board was reduced to only playing a marketer of ICT functions. The ICT Board also had a tag-war with the Communications Secretariat on some functions including the development of a clear BPO policy in the country.

The proposal will also see the replacement of the current CCK with  a more robust Communications Authority of Kenya. All these proposals are contained in the yet to be enacted The Kenya Information and Communication Amendment Act 2013.