ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary (PS) Jerome Ochieng has lauded the President for declining to sign the ICT Practitioners Bill 2022.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Africa Fintech Summit held at Radisson Blue Hotel in Upper Hill Nairobi, Ochieng said that the new law would be counterproductive and stifle young creatives in the sector.
“Kenya’s emergence as a technology giant in the continent owes it to the government’s deliberate focus on developing policies, institutional reforms and the universal access to ICT services,” he said.
Ochieng noted that the Bill brought forth many contentious proposals that failed to capture input from the main stakeholders in the sector.
“Digital transformation is no longer just an agenda for the Ministry of ICT, it needs both the government and private sector efforts in achieving its purpose,” said the PS.
Ochieng stated that forums like the Africa Fintech Summit bring together financial industry players with ICT players, highlighting the Government’s aim to adopt digital technologies across every sector of the economy.
“Kenya is a leading financial and tech hub in Africa and has been a driving force in financial inclusion, with the country’s biggest achievement being mobile money. Analysts predict that the FinTech industry will grow to 10 trillion dollars by 2025, with mobile money underwriting much of this expansion,” said the PS.
Ochieng stated that by providing a convenient platform for sending and receiving money and short-term credit, mobile money has become a key mechanism for poverty reduction in Kenya.
“The rise of Fintech has been nothing short of revolutionary, banks now need to focus on customer experience and data analytics to ensure they are not left behind in the new Fintech World,” he said.
The PS stated that Banks need to focus on improving the customer experience through digital channels, mobile apps and bots while investing in building up their customer data assets so that they can better understand where customers spend their time online, what information is important for them and which services they value most highly.
“Data protection and cybersecurity threats remain a factor in FinTech, but the government enacted the 2018 Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act mainly to curb such dangerous activity,” he said.
The PS said that the act covers the protection of critical infrastructure, as well as issues related to mobile money, cybersquatting, block chain and cryptocurrency.
By Michael Mulinge