Dr. Fred Matiangi-Cabinet Secretary ICT (cio.co.ke)
New ICT cabinet secretary Fred Matiangi participated in a major public event for the first time, answering questions from both public and private sector players. Matiangi told the conference the Jubilee government would be reviewing the National ICT Master Plan to bring it in line with their manifesto promises.
Other cabinet secretaries participating for the first time in their new roles included planning and devolution cabinet secretary Ann Waiguru, who said the government would deploy fibre to schools and hospitals across Kenya, and mining cabinet secretary Najib Balala, who demonstrated how the sector could utilise ICT.
The event also acted as perhaps the last public event bringing together outgoing permanent secretaries Bitange Ndemo and Dorothy Angote, should they not be returned to their positions.
Also appearing for their last time in the their capacities were outgoing Kenya ICT Board chief executive officer (CEO) Paul Kukubo and his deputy David Kyalo, who were the initiators of the event.
Quite noticeable was the absence of Safaricom, the title sponsor of the previous year’s event, with software solutions provider SAP taking centre stage.
This left Orange Kenya as the main player on the telecom stage, with Huawei leading the infrastructure players and SAP dominating the software side.
The absence of participation from last year’s major sponsors should not be construed to mean less popularity for the event, however, with sources telling HumanIPO the likes of Safaricom were waiting for all governmental posts to be filled.
Major issues of the moment were discussed, including the role of the private sector in infrastructure and how duplication can be avoided.
Other issues discussed included access to broadband, legislation needed for the industry and the release of more spectrum for 4G and digital broadcasting.
Whether the changing of the guard in terms of policymakers has any impact on this remains to be seen.