Kenya's ICT operators may soon require an operational licence 

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May 20, 2024
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2 min read
law tech
  • Eliud Owalo, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy, has reportedly proposed legislation in Kenya requiring information, communication, and technology (ICT) operators to obtain an operational licence if the proposed ICT Authority Bill 2024 is signed into law. 
  • The proposed ICT Authority Bill 2024 aims to improve the delivery of ICT services by ensuring their security, efficiency, and high quality, as well as simplifying ICT integration into public service delivery. 
  • The bill will also guide the authority in assigning accreditation categories based on experience and technical skills. It will allow the relevant authority to assign accreditation levels to individuals or organisations based on their ability to meet the prescribed requirements, such as skills, experience, and technical qualifications. 

“The Authority may assign categories of accreditation as the Authority may determine whether an applicant shall be a holder of the minimum technical qualifications and skills prescribed by the Authority for the class of contract works in respect of which registration is sought." 

Meanwhile, applications are processed within 30 days of submission, and accreditation is granted if approved. If the applicant is rejected, the authority will inform him or her of the reasons.  

Moreover, approved and accredited applications must be renewed annually. If an ICT provider violates any accreditation conditions, the authority may suspend the approved certificate as it deems appropriate. 

This comes just a week after Kenya's national treasury proposed a 1.5% digital tax on local platforms. Additionally, Njuguna Ndung'u, the national treasury cabinet secretary, proposed amendments to the Finance Bill 2024 for foreign companies with a presence in Kenya to pay digital service tax. 

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In June 2023, Kenya's government allocated $109.6 million to fund ICT-related initiatives as part of its fiscal year 2023/2024 budget. 

The World Bank has also supported the country's digital economy. In the same year, the World Bank Group Board of Directors approved $390 million in financing for the first phase of the Kenya Digital Economy Acceleration Project. The first phase, which began in 2023, will continue until 2028, while the second phase will start in 2026 and end in 2030.


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