State praised for creating an ICT friendly environment

The government has been praised for creating a conducive atmosphere for ICT sector growth.

A new Internet Society report says that Kenya has one of the most successful and inclusive Internet governance environments in Africa.

“The Government has taken positive interest and encouraged participation by the private sector and civil society,” says Mr David Souter, the managing director of ICT Development Associates, in the report.

“There is a worthwhile national Internet governance forum and there are other opportunities for dialogue.”

With almost eight million Internet subscribers and 14 million users, Kenya has been recognised as having a significant community of Internet governance participants and a higher level of understanding Internet governance issues than most comparable countries.  

The government, through the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Communications Commission of Kenya, and the Kenya ICT Board, is said to be more in touch with the needs of the private sector compared to other governments in Africa.

The launch of an open data portal last year was one of the achievements that have seen the government receive praise from the Internet Society.

The facility, which saw huge sets of government data released to Kenyans free of charge through an online portal, was the first in the region.

In addition, the ongoing development of Konza ICT City has raised the country’s profile with several international players expressing interest to set up shop at the facility.

“There are still substantial gaps in participation, among business users of the Internet, mainstream civil society groups, users in rural areas and, more importantly, some businesses that are dependent on the Internet such as ICT SMEs and cyber cafes,” says the report.

In addition, Internet users have raised important issues such as cyber security. More needs to be done to prepare for developments such as IPv6.