So I was privileged to be a mentor for two newcomers, One from Venezuela and another from West Bank. Not because I know anything really, but because I had attended ICANN47 in Durban.

We exchanged emails for a month prior to the meeting, sharing important PowerPoint presentations from the different ICANN constituencies, and exchanged tit-bits from the new and improved ICANN learn.

Unfortunately, the West bank fellow was not able to make it to London. Not withstanding, I hope to meet him in future, probably in LA. His dream is still valid.

“No matter where you come from, your dreams are valid.” – Lupita Nyong’o.

As for Jesus, he was very informed and focused, and knew many participants especially from Latin American region. His interest was more on GAC where he understood most issues especially because of his past engagement with ITU. This was puzzling because his background is ccTLD management. My thinking was he would have found ccNSO a natural home. We are still in contact via email, so let’s see how it turns out.

Thoughts on mentorships

What gets measured gets done.  This is just a beginning of a good thing, and the programme is superb.

  1. Timing of Guidelines to Mentors: A month is perfect, and the timing for initial engagement, 19th May was good.
  2. Guideline Package itself: It would be great if we can develop a mentorship guide, that new mentors can follow. In a matrix form, or something like that.
  3. One vs Two mentees: Two mentees are better. They can share with each other thoughts on the information given to them.
  4. Response and reaction from mentees: My mentee was very positive and eager to learn. He responded promptly to emails.
  5. Pre Meeting: I had a small meeting with my mentee where we exchanged expectations, and modes of participation at ICANN. I advised him to make a checklist of all sessions he wants to attend, and also make short notes, probably a paragraph on key takeaways for the meeting. This was to aid in report writing.
  6. At Meeting: We met in between sessions and evaluated effectiveness and relevance of the session.
  7. Post Meeting: We are still communicating via email, and finding the best ways for future participation in ICANN policy making activities.
  8. Does this need to be regional or based on compatible sectors: Compatible sector is better. It’s easier to engage on a professional level if you are from the same professional background.

Apart from the officially assigned mentors, I was able to interact and learn with many newcomers. Questions like “Are you are a member of ATLAS constituency?” were not uncommon but were met with fine answers on ICANN structures.

The fellows were lively and very eager to learn, from the knowledgeable Nabil of Morrocco, the young and intelligent Xiaohui of China, the friendly Martin Pablo of Argentina, the reflective Muchene of Kenya,  Amparo of Dominican who insisted I should pronounce her name with Latin romance accent – Ampaarooo,  Oarabile of Botswana who was oozing with life, to Adrian the key mobilizer. This is the perfect fraternity.

The leads Jeannie, Karel and Gao conducted the fellowship meeting very professionally, and the alumnae were quick to interject when called upon.

The ever smiling and warm Selina and Sarah (SS) were the perfect team for the ICANN newcomers booth. How Mama Janice picked two lovely people with extraordinary likable characters amazed me. No wonder visitors kept on going back to the ICANN booth.


Social media was abuzz with London’s ICANN 50 trending. The twitter hash tag was #ICANN50. The At-Large summit was on with the tag #ATLAS2.

Officially checked in 3000 attendees to . Thank you 4 making ICANN50 our new record!

At you have to think quickly, and fast like the speed of the internet

How do you survive an Meeting? Reply w/ ur top tips using , be included in Mtg Guide!

Words being thrown around at : bottom up, multistakeholderism, open, participatory, review, transparent

Do you know what happens when you enter a domain name into your browser? Take a look…

It’s important for other civil societies to track ICANN and engage –

Nice to see remote participants from Cameroon, Kenya, Pakistan and Philippine engage actively in discussions at

Fadi says he is an atypical CEO who changes his mind and changes course in reaction to community feedback

Become part of the process. Help shape the Stewardship Transition

fellowship morning meeting

Public Forum begins at 16:00 in Sandringham. Remote participation details:

The Board should delegate .africa pursuant to the registry agreement signed between ICANN and ZACR 25/6/2014 – GAC

Joke of the day: If your laptop has crashed, and you have lost your data, you can have NSA give you a backup.

 Jul 1

had meeting room challenges that brought to the attention of the Ombudsman

Already loving the topics at the Public Forum….

Live now: Public Forum

Learn the basics on the IANA functions with this new infographic:

Africa Strategy Progress Report with Pierre Dandjinou taking place in Windsor Suite

“This is an opportunity to show that these bottom-up processes work” – Community Member

lunch sponsored by at Hilton Paddington, London

SSAC meets fellows in London. Security and Stability Advisory Committee.

Africa has 54 ccTLDs

Its time to put users at the front of the family says CEO Fadi Chehade

The Internet should be Conducive for healthy growth of juveniles. . Those are the 7 Internet tenets according to

DR. Steve Crocker, Board Chairman says should be all about

endorsed by acclamation!!! to present to Board, 18:00 Sandringham


During the ICANN50 Public forum on 26th June 2014, I made an appeal for At-large to get a fair representation at the ICANN board level. Here is the transcript, that due to my Kenyan english, I’m sure the transcribers could not get correctly 🙂

“Mwendwa Kivuva, Internet Society Kenya Chapter and AFRALO. I respresent myself, and I will speak in Kenyan English.

I am happy to say this ICANN has celebrated the individual internet user, where most of us belong. Atlarge.

At ATLAS2 showcase, The ICANN president Fadi Chahade said, “It’s time to put the user at the front of the family.”

Steve Crocker the Chair said, “ICANN should all be about Atlarge”. End quote

From this, we see that The end user should be considered an essential component of ICANN’s multistakeholder model.

This seems to contradict the constitution of the ICANN board where Atlarge has only one board position while the other groups like ccNSO, and GNSO, each have 2 positions.
The urgument advanced is that board members don’t represent the interests of their community but represent the interests of ICANN. But I differ, that is not true since board members have the DNA of the constituency that nominated them.
Board members should represent public interest, and it’s in public interest for Atlarge to get an extra seat at the board.

[Applause] 🙂

Here is the Public forum transcript:

Audio transcript:

 I can’t get the video transcript, but my left hand was trembling , I’m surprised it did not cause a hurricane or fall off.


As ISOC Kenya ALS, we managed to set 3 remote hubs for our members to participate in the ICANN50 public meeting.

I made good use of my extended stay in England and  attended the UK IGF held on 1st July 2014 at St. Ermin’s hotel, London, England. The Nominet Chair Baroness Rennie Fritchie gave the sponsor’s welcoming remarks. She said “The IGF provides an opportunity for discussion, dialogue, divergent views, and encourages people to speak-up”. The event had about 50 participants. The Minister for Culture, Communication and the Creative Industries Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP appeared briefly to give his keynote speech and fielded questions from participants.

At the UK IGF. Kivuva, Minister  Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP, and Adrian discussing bilateral relations

At the 2014 UK IGF. From Left Mwendwa Kivuva, Minister Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP, and Adrian Rodriguez

The agenda had 6 items:

  1. Net Governance: Net Mundial, London High Level Governance Meeting, now what?
  2. IANA functions
  3. Governance of cybersecurity
  4. IPv6
  5. Network filtering plenary
  6. Wrap-up and key takeaway from the IGF.

Despite the low turnout -(attributed to conference fatigue at ICANN) the discussions were healthy with key takeaways. The government was taken to task on her position on NetNeutrality, which she seemed to contradict herself with no clear position. However, the Minister stated UK is concerned on the kind of regulation being discussed in Europe that would stifle businesses. The IGF organizers were also not able to clearly indicate how the outcome of previous IGFs were used to influence policy, only stating that multistakeholderism and being able to talk to each other was part of the success of the IGF. The UK also stated she was able to adjust policy positions from outcomes of the IGF and have UK positions in bilateral talks with greater EU. However, there was no example given on these positions. Mr. Vaizey noted there is need to strengthen IGF locally and internationally.

UK Internet Governance position for the IGF

The session on Internet Governance landscape identified the following positions for the UK

  • Resist attempt to give priority to single stakeholders – have a more dynamic model
  • Keep the IGF open and balanced
  • Keep vested interests out of the process.
  • Have IGF outcomes stakeholders can take home to aid in capacity building. Use IGF as a forum to address local problem.
  • Make the IGF more focused, and identify the big issues to be discussed.
  • The IGF is all about lobbying. (Seems to contradict point 3. above)
  • True democratic governments are a minority
  • Looking for climatic help from state is the norm. It would be difficult to achieve multistakeholderism while states have more strength.
  • Focus on involving more businesses on the IGF. Content Providers, ISPs, and industries affected by  the Internet.
  • Rebuild trust among stakeholders locally and internationally.

It was appreciated that the IGF landscape has changed greatly. For example, at NetMundial, all stakeholders were treated equally with Civil Society, private Sector, Government, and Technical Community all queuing up to the microphone to make their submissions. IANA stewardship was identified as a positive step taken by USG’s NTIA. A key point was that the idea of human rights has become more mainstream in Internet Governance.

One hindrance identified to multistakeholderism was the fact that not all stakeholders understand the issues being discusses. An example is eight out of nine US Supreme Court judged do not use emails. What kind of decisions would they make if IG issues were presented in their courts?

Relevance of the Istanbul IGF.

  • NetNeutrality will be a big debate in Istanbul.
  • Ongoing support for the IGF and fundraising.
  • How to make the IGF feel like an open platform.
  • How to achieve consensus to develop an outcome document from the IGF
  • The IGF offers capacity building, and many participants find answers to local problems.

The IPv6 Session

The session covered updates on IPv6 addressing use in UK and explored the potential barriers to it’s adoption. The panel was chaired by Olivier Crépin-Leblond Chair of ISOC UK England, with panelists being Alain Fiocco of CISCO, Tim Chown of University of Southampton, and Adrian Kennard Andrew and Arnold Ltd.

It was noted that UK is trailing other European countries in roll-out of IPv6. The global growth of IPv6 roll-out was at around 8% as of 2014. The challenges identified that face the implementation of IpV6 were:

  1. Traditionally lack of Content on IPv6. It’s hard to convince people to use IPv6 without content hosted on it. Now there is massive content on IPv6 and clients need to access this content.
  2. There were few IPv6 transit providers. Now there are many directly commuter BGP transit points.
  3. In the past, there were Few equipment especially core routers and client premise equipment that supported IPv6. Now most devices are IPv6 compliant.
  4. There is a high cost of upgrading the Internet backbone to support IPv6 by large ISPs
  5. Bugs on equipment that were to be IPv6 compliant. Most equipment are now bug-free.
  6. Affordability of consumer routers. Low end routers did not have IPv6 support. Most of these technical hurdles have been solved already.
  7. lack of Operating System support. Now, most Operating Systems are IPv6 compliant.
  8. Use of Career Grade NAT (CGN) and Large Scale NAT (LSN) which are presented as IPv6. This prevents operators from rolling out pure IPv6 networks. The CGN is not scalable, and the end users have poor network experience.
  9. What is left? Cost of change. We need technical staff to understand issues around IPv6. Staff need to be trained including engineers, support team, and call center operators. There need to be more affordable equipment in the market that support IPv6. There need to be demand from the end users for IPv6 content, and IPv6 connectivity.

It was identified that as of July 2014, only 4% of the Internet  users had access to IPv6. The big players like Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, e.t.c are on IPv6. A key point was the driver for IPv6 roll-out seemed to be innovation and not demographics.

The Network filtering session came into a conclusion that education was more desirable in protecting minors online instead of blocking websites since the minors could still access the content from other devices elsewhere.

The wrap-up session was a Q&A session between Kate Russell, freelance Journalist and BBC Click presenter with Eleanor Bradley, CEO of Nominet.

NB: Key take-away from the IGF: Possible areas of research – IPv6 uptake in Kenyan Universities. Universities are agents of change in society, and they usually have good budget. Why are they not leading the way in implementing IPv6?

Following the call for public consultations from CAK (Communication Authority of Kenya), previously known as Communication Commission of Kenya for the way forward for the management of .ke registry, I took the liberty to respond to the documents available for public perusal.

The registry’s work is to maintain all administrative data of the domain and generates a zone file which contains the addresses of the nameservers for each domain. Kenic is a registry for .ke. Other registries are ZADNA for .za, Nominet UK for .uk, PIR for .org and Verisign for .com and .net. A domain name registry is a database of all domain names and the associated registrant information in the top level domains of the DNS of the internet that allow third party entities to request administrative control of a domain name.

A domain name registrar is a commercial entity that manages the reservation of Internet domain names. A domain name registrar must be accredited by a registry (KENIC, Nominet UK, Verisign, PIR e.t.c). There are many registrars in Kenya see and their work is to market the domains to the end users. For .com, org e.t.c we have enom, godaddy, 1and1 e.t.c. The registrars do a very important role in the ecosystem, this being innovation, marketing, and value added services like emails, website hosting, and website development. A registry will be overwhelmed doing all this.

The documents listed on the CCK website are not specific on how CCK intends to transform KENIC, although Wambua and Dr. Macharia tried giving some explanation that KENIC will remain as it is currently. The current position is “KENIC is a not-for-profit entity”.

It would be great if CCK shared the framework document that advised them on the direction they chose for KENIC. Grace Githaiga too has requested on the framework document to be made public. The report from the consultant that CCK hired should be shared with the public.

Dr. Jimmy Macharia on his official response has stated that “KENIC is the best suited entity to continue managing and operating the top Level .ke ccTLD registry. That statement is subject to many interpretations and needs more clarity.

If we all had a common utilitarian interest for the Domain industry in Kenya and for the end user, the direction for KENIC would have been very clear and agreeable to all. And that sincere interest is to ensure KENIC remains a NOT FOR PROFIT organization. CCK is soliciting views from the pubic yet they have already made up their mind on the final outcome. That defeats the whole purpose of public consultations. KENIC needs to be a Public Interest Registry owned by the community and not a commercial entity just like Nominet UK. The prices need to be made as low as possible to maintain the registry, and at the same time allow registrars to flourish and compete. The numbers that KENIC is operating at now are enough for it to operate independently yet serve the interests of our Internet Community.

The document Review follows below:

The Licensing Framework
The Commission hereby submits the draft licensing framework for dot KE Domain Name Registry Services for public review and comment s. The licensing framework consists of the following documents:
i. Draft application form for the dot KE Domain Name Registry Services;
ii. Draft license conditions for Dot KE Domain Name Registry Services; and
iii. Draft procedures and guidelines for the provision of Dot KE Domain Name Registry Services

According to the documents posted online, the commission wants us to debate on the application form, and license conditions for the new commercial registry bidder, instead of the community debating on the new entity’s legal structure and the players in that structure. The documents provided for public consultation do not address key legal issues, the reason why the community totally ignored them.

(Page 3)
The licensing framework for Dot KE Domain Name Registry and the proposed structure of a delegated regulation model will ensure that the Commission plays a regulatory oversight role as envisaged in the Act and Regulations while at the same time transferring the management of the Dot KE Domain Name Registry to a commercial entity.

From the document, the word “commercial entity” has been used, and may mean several things, it’s evident that there is some form of bidding and auctioning that will be going on, yet the interests of the community can only be realised through a Nont-for-Profit Public Interest Registry.

Price of .ke set to go up.
Applicable Fees
The dot KE Domain Name Registry services fall under the Application Service Provider (ASP) licence category. The licence shall therefore be for a period of 15 years and shall attract a licence application fee of Kshs. 5,000.00, an initial operating licence fee of Kshs. 100,000.00 and an annual operating fee equivalent to 0.4% of annual gross turnover or Kshs. 80,000, whichever is higher. The Registrars shall be issued with an authorization upon fulfilment of the above requirements and payment of a registration fee of Kshs 10,000.
Check page2, part D of the Applciation form

The ASP mentioned above is taking over a proven business, whose annual revenue is over ksh50,000,000.00 for a license fee of Ksh115,000 and 0.4% of profits. Consider that is 90% of all the 30,000 domains registered, the ASP will be buying a Ksh 50,000,000.00 investment at 0.002% of the cost? I might be wrong with my calculations, but as you can see, it does not make a lot of sense to turn a public body and sell it for a song to a private commercial entity.
The price of a .ke is already too high for many Kenyans, at a registrar price of Ksh2320 (USD27), many end users opt for gTLDs (.com, .net, e.t.c). There is a whole ecosystem of young entrepreneurs who have settled as .ke registrars and instead of shaking them off from the tree, we should work hard to ensure .ke prices are lower than they currently are. Credit for KENIC for running promotions regularly that give good discounts to end users.

Annex1, page 8

Note that companies wishing to be considered for a licence in the communications sector must allot a minimum of 20% of their total shares to individual Kenyan citizens within three (3) year s from the date of issuance of the licence/s

What was the reason of re-delegating the .ke from Randy Bush if we are going to auction it again to foreigners? Is there any other country outside sub-sahara Africa where their ccTLD has been delegated to foreigners? China? US? UK? Japan? South Africa? Brazil? Let us not sell our resources to foreigners since we can manage them ourselves. We must be more protective of our assets least we become the laughing stock.

3. Letter of licence offer
If the application is approved, you will be informed in writing (letter of offer) and may also be contacted via phone/email. The letter of offer is valid for a period of 6 months from the date it’s written and states the amount of money to be paid before a licence is issued. Please note that the upfront operational fees in the offer letter are prorated on monthly bases. This may therefore differ depending on the date you wish to make the payment. You may therefore wish to get in touch with our office to be advised on the correct operating fees before making the payment

Are the fees to be paid decided in advance? Is it an auction?

8.Dot KE ccTLD subdomains Registration Fees
Given that the Dot KE Domain Name Registry is a technical monopoly, and is intended for the good of Kenyans, fees must be reasonably low and competitive. The Commission shall approve the cost of Dot KE Domain Name Registry services. page 6 and 7

Since the investors will have to recoup their capital expenses, the regulator should have initiated price controls to cushion the consumer. The registrar price should be fixed to say Ksh1000 maximum per domain, and allow the intermediary registrars to put a small markup to cover their operating expense. Leaving the price open is subject to massive abuse. And price control is nothing new in the Kenyan market. Read oil, electricity, e.t.c.

Way Forward
1. We should all note that .ke is a public resource
2. This resource has been with us for several years.
3. The resource should not be auctioned to the highest bidder.
4. .ke should be transferred to a not-for-profit community owned body to manage it. The proceeds of the profits can be used to build our ICT knowledge economy through donations to schools, sponsoring local initiatives, e.t.c. This model has been very successful. Indeed it should be noted that .za of South Africa took the commercial route only for them to turn around and now the resource is back in public hands. The South African ZADNA is a not-for-profit company that manages and regulates the .za namespace. ZACR (Uniforum) on the other hand is a non-profit organisation that exists for the good of the South African Internet. They plough surplus funds raised beyond covering operating expenses back into the greater Internet community.

Lets be vigilant and ensure that as a community, we have the final word on the direction of where this critical internet resource will head

Register .ke domain here

Should we in Kenya lie to ourselves that we are a leading ICT destination in Africa? Lying to ourselves has the positive effect of creating momentum, good International Public Relations, and much needed media coverage. In the past ten years we’ve seen a flurry of business angels and venture capitalists hawk the landscape in search of the next MPESA. That has had a positive impact on the ICT space with several innovations getting noticed and funded. Actually, many of the innovations hubs have thrived because of riding the “ICT wave” that Kenya is the final destination in Africa when it comes to ICTs. And because the hubs thrive, they help to cement that notion by walking the talk. The many Apps competitions like DEMO Africa, and PIVOT East too have thrive because of the same notion, and stimulate our young people to develop great applications. And the cycle continues.

Kenya has become a launchpad for Africa’s commercial strategy for Tech firms, as Kenya grows it’s influence as the regional tech hub powerhouse. Multinationals like the IBM (research lab), Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and Bharti Airtel have all noticed and setup regional hubs in Kenya because of confidence in us. While in Indonesia for the 8th IGF as an Internet Society Ambassador, I met a Fijian lady who was praising Kenya for being the silicon valley of Africa. Indeed, a Kenyan Bernard of won the AfriNIC/SEED Alliance FIRE award for the best application in the region.

Remember, according to some CNN article by Todd Leopold, ( Americans lag behind in many academic and social measurements. They are number 27th in Mathematics, 50th in life expectancy, 72nd in paying taxes, and 173rd in infant mortality yet they are number 1 in self confidence, and they literally rule the world. Rwanda too is riding on the wave of good international PR, my thesis is, after 30th years, it will be Africa’s Singapore. We need that confidence, PR and international goodwill to rub on us. I don’t mind if we lie to ourselves.

We owe much of the gains of the last 10 years to the optimism that swept the country after the 2002 elections, and the pragmatism of President Kibaki who realised the value of PR for the country, and Dr. Ndemo’s action oriented approach in growing the ICT sector (remember the impossible undersea cable and the dream Konza Technology city).
Vision 2030 too was part of that optimism. I hope and pray that the Uhuru regime will capitalise on the gains made, and move us to even greater heights.

Finally, lets celebrate the young Kenyans who spend countless hours in University of Nairobi Nokia lab and innovation Lab, Strathmore’s iLab, iHub, Nailab, mLab, e.t.c. This guys have made Kenya a technology tourism destination, and contributed to the confidence we enjoy now.

The warmth of the genuinely friendly and hospitable Balinese people in the famous Indonesian archipelago of Bali together with the sunny and warm tropical weather emanating form the Bali sea was a clear indication the 8thGlobal Internet Governance Forum (IGF) would be fruitful and lead to positive outcomes. The tone had already been set by the environment.

Scenic Bali Sea beach
Scenic Bali Sea beach

The IGF capacity building pre-event organized by Internet Society had all global ISOC Ambassadors and ISOC fellows from the Asian Pacific region participate in topics of their interests that had an impact on the Internet in their respective regions. The discussions took the un-conference format where every individual from Australia to Argentina, from Kenya to Costa Rica, from Vanuatu to Uganda, from Venezuela to Russia, all felt comfortable and they could contribute without pressure.

Inside the Fishbowl

The discussions were done through the interesting and unique fishbowl method where seven debaters sat in the middle of a two tier circle, with an eight slot available for the other members sited outside the center ring to fill if they felt the need to contribute to the debate. Only those on the inside circle could contribute, and one had to exit the circle through peer pressure and join the outside circle to maintain the balance to seven debaters if the eight slot was occupied. A prefect would ensure fishbowl rules were followed; and a scribe would note all the key-points that emerge form the debate, but neither of them could contribute to the discussions.

A Fishbowl in session
A Fishbowl in session. Extream right, Ms. Toral Cowieson, Senior Director, Internet Leadership was the Prefect 

Interesting debates from different Internet related problems from across the globe were tackled, some of them being

  1. How do we create contacts within local stakeholders, running projects for the chapter and extending support to local community.
  2. Best practices in financial management of ISOC chapters including fund-raising and grants
  3. Setting ISOC chapter’s objectives and goals
  4. If we work on a project it would be … with … and jointly we can achieve …
  5. What is my role in my chapter to shape up the future of Internet in my community … and what do I need to do …
  6. ISOC chapters contribute most effectively to the Internet Governance if …
  7. Online Intermediaries and human rights : Embracing transparency, accountability and Trust in the Digital era.
  8. What is preventing effective Cyber security in developing countries? Are policymakers not aware of the severity of the issues and multitude of responses required (people, process and tech), and as much haven’t made Cyber security a national priority.
  9. Use of the Internet to support creative economy and sustainable development
  10. Child safety online: What is the role of parents in ensuring that children are safe online?
  11. Best practices in building community of learning. How do we create peer networks that build capacity building to Internet Governance?

The fishbowl is an interesting way of brainstorming and coming up with new ideas for contemporary problems that affect us. I consider this a key takeaway from the ISOC Ambassadorial program because we can use it in our local ISOC chapter meetings where all members will feel welcomed and encouraged to contribute. It can also be used in our day to day jobs , in meetings where we sometimes struggle to get members engaged.

The solution room.

This was a more interesting method of getting solutions for participants that had Internet related problems in their region. On the solution room, eight participants sat on a round-table and asked to write down their problem in a paper glued infront of each one of them. Participants then moved clockwise one position, but left their problem behind. Now the problem became the problem of the whole group, where they brainstormed around it as the members sited infront of the problem scribed the solutions offered. All the problems would be solved clockwise until the last. Each member would then take the solution for adoption in solving the respective problem presented.

The Solution Room

The Solution Room

My region has many Internet governance issues. I would like to handle the topic of “The Internet as an engine for growth and advancement. “

Access to the Internet can change lives of many people in the developing world producing plenty of opportunities for the youth, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. Access to the internet in Africa is primarily through mobile phones.

Many young people are unemployed, yet we can harness technology to assist them improve their livelihoods. Opportunities for the youth can be made possible through introduction of affordable phones, training the youth on mobile application development, incubation of youth businesses that are developing new innovative applications that run on mobile phones and finally, providing employment opportunities for these young innovators. Economic empowerment of the youth will lead to self sustainability of these nations. In the past few years, cost of mobile phones has decreased, enabling access to majority of citizens in developing countries. According to a research by iHub Research and Research Solutions Africa conducted in mid 2012, (Crandall, 2012) noted that “16% of Kenyans at the BoP1 Internet on their mobile phone” This has also been made possible because cellular companies have reduced cost of operating mobile phones by providing cheap calling rates and internet.

As the barriers to access of the phones have been broken, the youth have showed great innovation through development of applications. One such application in Kenya is the iCow that enable farmers to keep health records for their livestock. Other applications being considered will enable farmers get competitive markets for their produce through introduction of a commodities exchange market, and access of competitive market price information. Ushahidi on the other hand is an application that can solve crisis problems of crime, delinquency, and disasters by use of Crowdsourcing.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs can be made possible where governments are stable and they enact favorable policies and regulations for investors. This will attract major companies to establish bases in developing countries and provide funding to local startups. The firms will provide business solutions like mobile banking, provision of micro loans through mobiles,

and mobile money transfer services. A good innovation in the Kenyan market because of favorable business environment is the world famous M-PESA, a mobile money transfer platform.

For many of these positives to become a reality, policies and regulations that affect the access to phones and the internet should be formulated. In Kenya, counterfeit phones were switched off September 30th 2012. The communication commission ordered telecommunication operators to block phones that don’t have International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI ) number from accessing network services. The main reason was that the phones pose security risks to the country because the users cannot be tracked, and also counterfeits deny revenue to the genuine manufacturers. About 1.5million phones were switched off, affecting many users at BoP. (Chebusiri, 2012) Should Kenya have taken a different road? Such policies of locking out the poor from accessing the network only serve to enlarge the digital divide. The digital divide is not only about people of lower economic class not affording mobile phones and internet, but a research conducted by (Scott & McKemey, 2002) revealed that less women have access to phones and internet than men, and less educated people are likely to use these technology than those with high school diploma. Tracking mobile users’ activities poses serious questions of privacy, and incline towards abuse of basic human rights.

Internet Service providers do bandwidth trottling to Peer to Peer (P2P) traffic especially when enforcing copyrights, or metering videos that clog their networks affecting the Quality of service (QOS) for the majority of average users. Accessing the internet through handheld phones as it is the case of developing countries tackles issues of net neutrality since mobile phones use less bandwidth, and they don’t have heavy applications that affect the QoS of other users.

All in all, developing nations should concentrate on having concrete policies, laws and regulation, having stable governments, educating the youth, and encouraging strategic investors to fund local businesses in the technology field. This will enable the nations to create more wealth and improve the livelihoods of their citizens, as well as benefit from foreign exchange and better balance of trade caused by exporting technology.


Chebusiri, W.w., 2012. BBC News – Kenya’s battle to switch off fake phones. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 24 October 2012].Crandall, A., 2012.

How the Kenyan base of the pyramid uses their mobile phone | *iHub. [Online] Available at:

[Accessed 24 October 24].Scott, N. & McKemey, K., 2002. The use of Telephone in Rural and Low Income Communities in Africa. In 42nd Meeting of the CTO Council. London, 2002.

Definitely, KENIC is destined for better times, and I would like to thank the board for the positive outlook as seen in the AGM of 2013.

But I would be very wary of celebrating this early. The domain statistics presented at the AGM from the Chairman’s report had glaring errors and were not accurate at all, from 13,132 domains in 2011 to 26,026 in 2012 a purported rise of 34% (clearly, 13k to 26k is 100%). In 2009, the domains were at around 12,000, in 2010 the numbers were at 15,000, and 2011 at over 20,000, not the 13,132 reported.

I’m not an accountant but a jump in profit from negative Ksh1.4Million to Ksh15Million in one year might need further explanation. The domain jump between that period was about 5000, while the costs of doing business between the two years had a difference of Ksh 5,572,011 (A positive thing indeed), the difference due to reduced wages instituted in the restructuring process. Some clarification on this might be in order. The number one rule of audit is Trust but Verify.

Otherwise the discussions were very fruitful and these were some of the deliberations;

1. That stakeholders can still lobby like in any other law making process if they need the law changed to fit a particular purpose.
2. That the ICT bill was passed in 2009, and KENIC has been operating with borrowed time (government has been gracious enough). The Kenya communications amendment act 2009 is attached, I wish we can really get to understand it, and the provisions that separate the regulator from sitting in KeNIC board.
3. That the community will drive the change process, including the timeliness for dissolution.
4. That a consultant was given the assignment of exploring the best model to be used in managing the .ke. This is through exploring what route successful ccTLDs out there have followed. The findings will be shared with the community. And the community must be the one to make the final decision.
5. Mr Michael Katundu raised a very important point, that even if KeNIC is dissolved, the .ke brand will still remain, and it should be protected.

The issue of corporate governance and term of directors was never discussed at the AGM.

My appeal to the community is we support the .ke brand, and KeNIC because it’s a national resource, and an object of identity. The community has for a while now been very vile with it.