CS Owalo Inaugurates Working Group on Digital Sector Reforms

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

In his address, CS Owalo noted that the team of technocrats have been specially identified and selected to lead the country in policy, legal, and legislative reforms, in various areas that fall under the mandate 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 observed that there is a need for reform in the policy, legal, and regulatory environment within the Ministry’s core mandates since the current supportive legislations in the dynamic sector are now over 25 years old.

Notably, there have been significant changes in technology over the last 25-30 years in all sub-sectors, hence the need to update both law and policy.

The CS remarked that there are emerging technologies such as AI, Big Data, cryptocurrency and other digital assets that need to be accommodated.

The Working Group shall be tasked with examining the existing policy, legislative, institutional, administrative, and operational structures, systems, and strategies, and recommend comprehensive reforms in the Sector; identifying emerging technologies and other areas that need legal and policy intervention and making appropriate policy and legislative proposals.

Additionally, they will make any other assessment and advise on necessary reforms to enable the Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Digital Economy to meet its present mandate and expectations in a fast-changing operational environment and draft relevant Bills, draft Policies, and Strategy documents.

The deliverables of the Task Force are: A Task Force Report and Implementation Matrix, Draft policy and legislative, amongst other proposals.

The Sector Working Group shall remain in office for a period of six months from the date of gazettement and the Cabinet Secretary may, if necessary, extend its term.

CS Owalo was accompanied by ICT & the Digital Economy PS Eng. John Tanui and Broadcasting & Telecommunication PS Prof. Edward Kisiang’ani.

Also present were Chairs and CEOs of the Ministry’s SAGAs and National Assembly ICT Committee Chairman Hon. John Kiarie. Stakeholders present included EU, UNDP, MICROSOFT, TESPOK, Editors’ Guild, Media Owners Association, Digital Broadcasters, and Kenyan Bloggers, among others.

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