The contentious ICT Practitioners Bill has subsequently been repealed and brought back to the Kenyan Parliament for more discussion.
Since then, we have raised awareness of the bill’s flaws, which have also received a lot of attention from supporters of the ICT sector. How did we get here, though? The ICT business and its practitioners should be treated as professionals, much like physicians and attorneys, according to the bill’s proponents and the lawmakers who backed it.
The MPs claimed that the practitioners ought to be licensed in order to do this. Thus, the plan was born, and its contentious provisions, 24 and 25, were among them.
Here is Clause 24 in case you forgot what it says:
“A person shall not practice as an ICT practitioner unless such a person has complied with the requirements for continuing education and supervision, and has been issued with a valid practice license by the Council, in accordance with a regulation made under this Act.”
There are further subclauses in the clause that provide more information on the qualifications needed to run an ICT enterprise.
As previously stated, this provision was hotly contested. As a result, President Kenyatta has suggested that it be removed from the Act.
“The Clause prohibits an ICT practitioner pr firm from ICT practice if that person or firm has not obtained the annual practising license. The licensing requirement imposes an undue barrier to entry into an ICT sector and places an unfair burden on ICT practitioners. For the foregoing reasons, I recommend that the Bill should be amended by deleting Clause 24.” said President Kenyatta.
The next provision, number 25, had also caused some debate. Says it:
“A license granted under this Act shall be valid for one year, for the duration between the 1st January and 31st December in every year, and may, upon expiry, be renewed.”
The section, which states that the cost of the yearly license must be passed on to ICT professionals and consumers, has since been criticized by the President as unfairly burdensome.
The President has thus suggested that the provision be removed.
There are additional contradictions in the Act, such as Clause 10, which ignores the fact that the ICT business also includes other professions, such as academics, representatives of civil society, and teachers, to name a few. Before the Act is passed into law, Kenyatta wants the contradictions to be resolved.