The Computer Society of Kenya

Since 1986

Audit flags Sh4.4bn Konza smart city job payment

KonzapxBUSINESS DAILY BY EDWIN MUTAI

Monday June 14, 2021

The Auditor-General has raised the red flag over direct payments of Sh4.4 billion from a Chinese lender to telecoms giant Huawei for the construction of the Konza Data Centre.

Nancy Gathungu says the lender could not produce documents to validate the payments to Huawei, raising concerns that taxpayers could lose billions of shillings through unsubstantiated payment demands.

The Konza project, conceived in 2017 by the ICT ministry and Huawei, entails the development of core infrastructure including a national cloud data centre, a smart ICT network, a public safe city and smart traffic solution, and a government cloud and enterprise service.

The Chinese tech giant Huawei was picked to develop the Konza Data Centre and Smart City.

“Annexes to the contract containing the terms and conditions of the contract including timelines, deliverables, and payment schedules in support of the payments were not provided,” Ms Gathungu said in the latest audit of the State Department for ICT tabled in Parliament last week.

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Agency bets on tech to lock out cartels from blood banks

bloodBUSINESS DAILY By COLLINS OMULO

Monday June 07, 2021

Kenya requires between 500,000 to one million units of blood a year, yet collects less than a quarter of that volume.

Amid such an acute shortage, cartels engaged in illegal sale of blood have continued to make a kill.

The illegal blood business is blamed for shortage with Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe last year in March accusing cartels at the ministry of draining Kenyan blood banks.

This is after reports revealed that blood donated by Kenyans was being sold abroad, mostly in neighbouring Somalia by a cartel comprising officers from the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS).

And now KNBTS, which is mandated to ensure the provision of adequate safe blood, is in the process of rolling out a new system aimed at sealing loopholes exploited by cartels to siphon donated blood from Kenya’s blood banks.

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Safaricom reveals ownership of Ethiopia venture

safcom-ndegwaBUSINESS DAILY BY VICTOR  JUMA

Tuesday May 25, 2021

Safaricom  will own a majority stake in a series of companies formed for entry into Ethiopia’s telecoms market, giving the firm effective ownership of 55.7 per cent in the new venture.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed company has disclosed the exact ownership structure of the consortium that on Saturday won a licence to enter the new market at a cost of $850 million (Sh91.6 billion).

Japan’s conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation is the second-largest investor with a 27.2 per cent stake, followed by UK’s sovereign investment fund CDC Group (10.9 per cent) and South Africa’s Vodacom Group (6.2 per cent).

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Central bank digital currency disruption

cbkBUSINESS DAILY BY BITANGE NDEMO

THURSDAY MAY 27 2021

The increased adoption pace of digital technologies is forcing countries to adapt Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

This has made many decision-makers to set up mechanisms for change in the past five months. A move that will completely disrupt the financial systems.

A special report by Fitch Rating insinuates that the rise of private digital payment platforms with strong network effect could “create oligopolies among payment-system providers.”

Private companies could end up controlling so much of individual personal data, a concern that has been raised within the academic circles.

Indeed, some governments are also not comfortable with the power of data analytic that these platforms are building around personal data.

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Communications Authority changes terms in fresh hunt for new boss

wanjauBUSINESS DAILY By BRIAN AMBANI

Tuesday May 18,2021

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has restarted the process of recruiting a director-general with new terms of qualifications after a court quashed the advertisement for the vacancy.

CA on Tuesday re-advertised for the position, making an about-turn on requirements that applicants seeking to replace former DG Francis Wangusi must possess a postgraduate degree and 15 years of experience, 10 of which must be at senior managerial level.  

This comes a month after the Employment and Labour Relations Court revoked the authority’s recruitment drive and ruled that the process was both procedurally improper and illegal.

Justice Maureen Onyango found that the advertisement for the vacancy did not meet the minimum statutory requirements in terms of the qualifications for the position and the process of advertising.

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