Kill the ICT Practitioners Bill

Multi-sector lobbying effort against the Information Communication Technology Practitioners Bill 2022 by the Kenya ICT Ecosystem Stakeholders.

Republished from https://www.kies.ke

OPEN LETTER

Dear Mr President,

Greetings from the Kenya ICT Ecosystem Stakeholders (KIES), which is an ad hoc lobby group consisting of senior leadership representing all players in Kenya’s ICT ecosystem.

We present this Petition to you in response to the approval by the National Assembly of the ICT Practitioners Bill, 2020 on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. The Bill seeks to establish a legal framework for the training, registration, licensing, practices, and standards of all ICT professionals in Kenya.

As key stakeholders in the ICT sector, we are concerned that the Bill seeks to prescribe and regulate the training and qualifications of persons that can ‘practice’ the trade and craft of ICT in Kenya; establish the standards and terms of such practice through an ICT Practitioners Council; and provide for offences for non-compliance with the requirements of the registration and licensing. While we appreciate and welcome Parliament’s legislative power, we note that this proposed law to regulate such a wide sector is not in the best interests of the ICT sector, and Kenya’s digital economy at large.

Your excellency, this Bill is in our considered view unconstitutional as it threatens fundamental rights, and since 2016, has been developed without the open and meaningful participation of key stakeholders in the ICT sector. Secondly, it threatens the gains made to grow Kenya’s digital economy and its dynamic ICT sector, including job creation for millions of youth, revenue generation, and foreign direct investments in SMEs and Startups. Lastly, it will claw back on your legacy that has created an enviably supportive environment for even further growth of the Silicon Savannah.

Your excellency, our humble request is that you reject assenting to the ICT Practitioners Bill, 2020.

On behalf of the Kenya ICT Ecosystem Stakeholders (KIES)

SIGNATORIES

  1. Big Technology Companies in Kenya ( Microsoft, Google, AWS, Amazon, MasterCard, Meta, Cisco, Oracle)
  2. Developers Communities (Android254, KotlinKenya, PythonKenya)
  3. Donor Community
  4. Employers (BPO Association)
  5. Industrial Bodies ( KEPSA, KICTANET )
  6. Legal Bodies (Lawyers Society, Lawyers Hub, Africa Practice)
  7. Media ( CIO )
  8. Ministry ( MoICT)
  9. Research (Viffa Consult)
  10. Start-up Associations (Digital Lenders Association in Kenya, Associations of FinTechs in Kenya, Association of Startup and SMEs Enablers of Kenya )
  11. Telecommunication Companies (Safaricom, Liquid)

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