Government of Kenya rejects ICT Practitioners Bill

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The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of ICT has rejected the proposed Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Practitioners Bill 2016, saying it will isolate Kenya from the global stage and participating in ICT innovations.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru said some proposals in the Bill will kill innovative talent and alienate local youth from lucrative on-line jobs, educational and investment opportunities.

According to the Ministry’s Website, the CS said this while addressing members of the Departmental Committee on Energy, Communication and Information. Mucheru said ICT sector was rapidly changing and if enacted, the proposed Bill would hinder growth of innovations and developments in the country.

Observing that the government was not opposed to regulating the ICT sector, the Cabinet Secretary pointed out the country still had progressive laws, policies and institutions that guided the sector.

“If enacted, the ICT Protection Bill 2016, will cause duplication in regulation and frustrate individual talents from realizing their potential,” said Mucheru.

The ICT Practitioners Bill 2016 is a private members Bill taken to Parliament by Leader of Majority, Aden Duale.

The Bill seeks to have ICT practitioners licensed before being permitted to practice. The Bill also stipulates that for one to be eligible for registration, he /she should be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree with at least three years of relevant experience.

The CS said the world was fast moving towards ICT driven utilities and employment and urged those formulating laws and policies to avoid creating laws that wee detrimental.

He said many Kenyans engage on on-line jobs, a trend that has made the country to be ranked 10th globally, noting that if the Bill is passed it will reverse the gains and render youth employed by online engagements jobless.

Keiyo South Member of Parliament Jackson Kiptanui who chaired the session said the Bill can either be withdrawn by the mover or amendments made on the document before being taken to back to Parliament for debate. Kiptanui said ICT stakeholders had expressed reservations on the Bill prompting a stakeholders’ engagement.

The Committee noted that the Bill was likely to be an economic risk to the country as it would cripple the ICT sector that has been identified as a critical enabler to the success of Vision 2030 goals.

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