- Telecommunications providers in Kenya have reacted with dismay to the government's decision to dissolve the Communications Commission of Kenya's (CCK) board of directors and relieve the director general of his duties. It was a "dark day in Kenya's communications sector," they hold.
In a press release, Raphael Tuju, Kenya's Minister for Information and Communication, announced that he has dissolved the CCK Board of Directors and sent S Kirui, the board's Director-General, on compulsory leave. Dr J Kulubi, the former secretary to the National Communications Secretariat, has been appointed as acting Director-General.
Joseph Mucheru, chairman of the Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK) issued a statement describing the government's decision as "totally incomprehensible".
He said, "The actions taken by the government can only be construed as intrusive, obstructive short-sighted and diversionary as they come in the midst of an ongoing liberalisation of the sector, end of exclusivity of Telkom Kenya and fast convergence of technologies that are currently presenting regulators worldwide with unforeseen challenges."
Last month, amid rising tensions between State House and the regulatory authority, the Nairobi government instructed the national telecommunications company to re-introduce voice over IP (VoIP) services.
Mr Muchero, speaking on behalf of the industry, said that the order to dissolve was a poorly thought out action, "The ongoing disputes within the sector, which have been prompted by the newly opened market, demand that the country have a stable, objective and level-headed regulator."
- This action by the government has thrown the entire industry into disarray, Mr Muchero added. "The CCK Board plays such a crucial role that now no further licenses can be issued, no disputes can be settled and no formal regulatory interventions can take place and there is no clear communication from the government as to how affairs within the sector are to be managed."
On hearing this news, William Stucke, chairman of the African ISP Association, reacted by saying "Good grief! Now watch investments in Africa as a whole, not just Kenya wither up and blow away in the wind..."
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.