[kictanet] KONZA: The failed promise of Kenya’s smart city

Benson Muite benson_muite at emailplus.org
Thu Jun 3 10:04:56 EAT 2021

On 6/2/21 2:59 PM, S.M. Muraya via KICTANet wrote:
> (1) What is lacking is rule of law. Access to information will increase 
> public participation and reduce insider theft/trading crippling all our 
> towns and cities.
> https://www.ombudsman.go.ke/index.php/access-to-information/publications?download=298:ati-regulations-2021-for-pubic-participation-25-05-2021 
> <https://www.ombudsman.go.ke/index.php/access-to-information/publications?download=298:ati-regulations-2021-for-pubic-participation-25-05-2021>
> https://ombudsman.go.ke/index.php/resource-center/media-center/news-and-events/137-public-participation-and-request-for-comments-on-the-draft-access-to-information-general-regulations-2021 
> <https://ombudsman.go.ke/index.php/resource-center/media-center/news-and-events/137-public-participation-and-request-for-comments-on-the-draft-access-to-information-general-regulations-2021>

It will be nice to have more data available to aid in evaluation. The 
act has quite high requirements for a range of private bodies and seems 
to have been adapted from similar laws used in other countries, without 
enough thought about the Kenyan context. It will be interesting to see 
if existing personnel will be retrained to perform these tasks or 
replaced. Total government employee wage bills are quite high (even 
though salaries in general are not). Getting basic information such as 
expenditure and revenue is already problematic, it seems unlikely that 
this act can be implemented in the public sector correctly without 
budget allocations for the required transformation.

As an example, most government websites when they exist are in a poor 
state, almost none are multilingual, in Tanzania almost all official 
websites are in at least Kiswahili and English.  Quality of service 
guarantees and data on services provided seem to be missing from the 
act, so there is no way to track whether it will be effective.

Perhaps a pilot phase could be done starting with websites for 
government ministries at national level as well as for county 

Legislation and paperwork while well intentioned, seems to mostly make 
Kenya an expensive place to get things done. It would be great if ICT 
could improve on this.  Nevertheless, Kenya does seem to rank relatively 
well at 56 on the ease of doing business, 

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