Government has rejected the proposed controversial ICT Practitioners Bill 2016 arguing that it will isolate Kenya from the global stage and participating in ICT innovations. The Bill proposed by majority leader Aden Duale had already undergone first reading in parliament. It not being passed has stimulated bliss among innovators and ICT stakeholders being that Kenya plays host to big researchers and innovation labs and hubs.
If the ICT Practitioners Bill 2016 was endorsed, an institute of ICT practitioner’s governing council would be established to set standards of professional competence, approve courses as well as register and license practitioners upon payment of prescribed fees.
Additionally, the Bill proposed that for one to be eligible for registration, one should be a holder of a Bachelor’s degree and have at least three years relevant experience. On the other hand, those with diplomas from recognized universities are required to pass an examination or fulfill other requirements that the council may set, before registration. Third, it would cause duplication in regulation and frustrate individual talents from realizing their potential.
The ICT sector remains to be a vibrant area with more startups continuously coming up where investors are putting their money into. One of the great innovations bringing in billions into the country is M-PESA, which was invented locally. Other applications include financial online trading systems (M-Hisa), transport apps like Uber and Little Cabs and mobile banking services that have revolutionized how business is done in the country.
Earlier in July, the ICT Ministry distanced itself from engaging in passing of the bill by issuing a statement saying “the ICT practitioner’s Bill is a private member’s Bill, which whilst dealing with the ICT sector does not originate from the ICT ministry and does not represent the policy position of the Government of Kenya, adding to that it isn’t harmonious with the National ICT draft policy that the ministry plans to introduce.