Kenya declines to sign new international communication rules

Kenya failed to endorse the new International Communications rules at the World Conference on International Telecommunications, after the country’s information ministry permanent secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo declined to sign.

This is despite an agreement to do so by the Kenyan delegates at the conference, which was held to discuss whether the InternationalTelecommunications Union, a United Nations information and communication regulatory agency, should be given the mandate to control the internet.

“We did not and still don’t see any reason why we did not sign the treaty because we had agreed. Basically the PS refused to sign and we don’t understand the idea behind it,” CCK director general Francis Wangusi told the Nation in a telephone interview.

Dr. Ndemo had already indicated before leaving for the meeting that he would not support the inclusion of internet under ITU’s regulations, reports The Daily Nation.

“Why would we want to change anything? This period that ITU has not been regulating internet there have been tremendous innovations. ICANN (a multi-stakeholder arrangement) has worked very well in the past,” Ndemo told The Nation on an earlier interview.

“You try to give your freedom on internet to ITU and by the time you wake up, government will be 20 km away with your freedom,” he added.

The African continent was supposed to take one stand on the issue, but out of all the states represented, only Kenya, Malawi and Gambia refused to sign the treaty.

The conference had brought together government representatives from all over the world to review the current international communication regulations.

The main aim was to sign a treaty that will see information and communications services enhanced for better interconnection and interoperability.

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