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The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is the regulatory Authority for the ICT industry in Kenya with responsibilities in telecommunications, e-commerce, broadcasting and postal/courier services. The CA is also responsible for managing the country’s numbering and frequency spectrum resources, administering the Universal Service Fund (USF) as well as safeguarding the interests of users of ICT services.
Communications Authority of Kenya
||Government of Kenya
||CA Centre Nairobi
- Sen. Kembi Gitura, MGH, Chairman
- Mrs. Mercy Wanjau, MBS, Acting Director General
||Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology
Mandate and purpose
The Communications Authority of Kenya’s responsibility, according to its “What We Do” page, entails:
- Licensing all systems and services in the communications industry, including; telecommunications, postal, courier and broadcasting.
- Managing the country’s frequency spectrum and numbering resources.
- Facilitating the development of e-commerce.
- Type approving and accepting communications equipment meant for use in the country.
- Protecting consumer rights within the communications environment.
- Managing competition within the sector to ensure a level playing ground for all players.
- Regulating retail and wholesale tariffs for communications services.
- Managing the universal access fund to facilitate access to communications services by all in Kenya.
- Monitoring the activities of licensees to enforce compliance with the license terms and conditions as well as the law.
Below are some of the relevant sector regulations:
- Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998
- Kenya Information and Communications (Fair Competition and Equality of Treatment) Regulations, 2010
- Kenya Information and Communication (Dispute Resolution) Regulations, 2010
- Kenya Information and Communications (Interconnection and Provision of Fixed Links, Access and Facilities) Regulations, 2010
- Kenya Information and Communication (Tariff) Regulations, 2010
- The Kenya Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations, 2009
- The Kenya Communications Regulations, 2001
Affiliated International Bodies
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
- Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO)
- African Telecommunications Union (ATU)
- Universal Postal Union (UPU)
- Pan African Postal Union (PAPU)
- Association of Regulators of Information and Communication in Eastern Africa (ARICEA)
- African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI)
History of the Communications Authority of Kenya
The 1963 Kenya’s independence transformed the colonial laws and policy development towards telecommunications, broadcasting and the media.
In 1997, the first policy guideline specific to telecommunications and postal sector liberalisation was issued based on the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (2003–2007). This policy guideline was developed by the Kenya Posts and Telecommunication Corporation (KP&TC) and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It set out the role of the sector in national development, stated the policy objectives and identified targets as well as strategies to be pursued. The desired market structure for liberalisation was also articulated in the policy. This policy guideline led to the transformation of the telecommunications and postal sector, the creation of the Kenya Communications Act (KCA, 1998) and the Postal Corporation Act (1998).
Prior to 1998, the KP&TC was the sole provider of basic telecommunications services. Telkom Kenya was created in 1999 as a separate legal entity from the previous postal and telecommunications statutory body and is slated for privatisation.
The proliferation of mass media, economic demands and pressure from donors as well as civil society forced the government to review the laws governing the media with a view to liberalising the airwaves, abolishing of restrictive media laws, and harmonisation of Kenya Post and Telecommunication Act and Kenya Broadcasting Acts. (Mureithi, 2002)
Initially the government split KP&TC into two entities through the Kenya Communication Bill (1997) and the Postal Corporation Bill (April 1997). However Kenyan government created the telecommunication regulator at the same time that the telecommunications and postal arms of the PTT ministry were spun off as separate operating entities through the Kenya Communications Act of 1998. This move led to the dismantled of KP&TC into the Communications Commission of Kenya, Telkom Kenya Limited and Postal Corporation of Kenya as well as the formation of to serve as the policy advisory arm of the Government on all matters pertaining to the ICT, National Communications Secretariat was also formed.
In 2000, the Ministry of Information, Transport and Communications prepared a cabinet paper on broadcasting with the status of a sector policy statement. Following that, in 2001 the ministry prepared a draft broadcasting bill and broadcasting policy, however the 2 documents never got approved by parliament.
In 2004 the Ministry of Information and Communications published the draft national ICT policy. It was adopted in 2006 and it aimed at creating an enabled and knowledge based society by using ICTs to improve the livelihoods of Kenyans.
Structure and functions of Communications Authority of Kenya
Board of Directors
This is a list of the current board of directors as of April 2021
• Sen. Kembi Gitura, MGH,-Chairman • Mrs. Mercy Wanjau,MBS, Acting Director General • Dr.Karanja Kibicho, Principal Secretary for Interior and Citizen Services • Dr. Julius Muia, Principal Secretary, National Treasury • Ms. Esther Koimett, CBS, Principal Secretary, Broadcasting and Telecommunications • Mr. Peter Wanjohi, alternate to PS, Ministry of Interior • Ms. Juliana Yiapan, alternate to Principal Secretary, Broadcasting and Telecommunications • Mr. Christopher Huka, alternate to PS, The National Treasury • Prof.Levi Obonyo • Ms.Kentice Tikolo, OGW • Ms.Patricia Kimama
DEPARTMENTS • Licensing, Compliance and Standards • Frequency Spectrum Management • Competition, Tariffs and Market Analysis • Consumer & Public Affairs • Human Capital & Administration • Finance & Accounts • Legal Services • Multi Media Services • Information Technology and Enterprise Resource Management • Risk Management and Internal Audit • Procurement • Cyber Security and E-commerce • Universal Service Fund • Innovation, Research and Development
REGIONAL OFFICES The Authority has established four regional offices as part of efforts to take service closer to the people. Nyanza Regional Office-Kisumu Western Regional Office-Eldoret Central and Eastern Regional Office-Nyeri Coast Regional Office-Mombasa Nyanza Regional Office-Kisumu
The Authority is Kenya’s designated representative to local, regional and international ICT fora. The Authority coordinates country positions at these fora and also implements international agreements on ICTs locally.
Communications Authority of Kenya Contacts
Mobile: 0703 042000, 0730 172000
Tel: +254 (20) 4242000 2441081-4
Address: P.o. Box 14448-00800, Nairobi