As the third round of the ICT Grant process approaches, the Kenya ICT Board acknowledges that it has learnt lessons on conducting the Grant process through the previous competition.
Speaking to HumanIPO, Kenya ICT Board’s chief executive Paul Kukubo said they have introduced news aspects to conduct the process.
“We feel like we need to improve our communication,” Kukubo said. “We can’t be transparent enough we have to continue doing that.” Kukubo said that clear communication will help bring transparency to the grant process.
The other thing that the board will strive to improve is the workshops the Board holds before the grand process takes place. “Before we do the grant we always go round the country and do workshops. We will also improve that as well,” he said.
The Board also aims to get more businesses and ideas from outside Nairobi. This has been one of the sticky issues that have been raised about the grant process. Kukubo said they would try and rope in more towns.
In the case of people being favored to get the grants, Mr. Kukubo said that the ICT Board does not sit in the committee that decides who gets the grant or not. The members of the committee are independent and they are drawn from various fields in the ICT sector. Therefore, the idea of getting favors from the ICT board is not true.
The committee also has to prepare a report to the World Bank, the sponsors of the Grant process, to make sure that the process is fair.
There have been major suggestions on how to conduct the process including public voting for the ideas submitted. Kukubo however said that this would not work; if one has many social media friends and followers all they have to do is campaign and they would win the grant. This would not be fair.
The numerous of accusations leveled at the board as to how they conduct the process has been a familiar topical issue. Kukubo says that some of these reports emanate from careless reporting. He insists that some of the journalists have never interviewed the grantees and asked them what kind of a process they go through.
The third round is expected to take place early next year.