The Kisii County Consumer Forum which was dubbed “Kikao Kikuu”, and the theme of the forum was “Cyber Security and Online Protection”. It was organized by the Kisii County Government in partnership with the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the ICT Regulator and it was held on 22nd – 23rd June, 2016 at the Gusii Stadium.
The participants of the event included the ICT service providers, ICT Industry players, Consumer Organizations, Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), Academic Institutions (JKUAT – KISII CBD leading the way) among other ICT stakeholders.
The Kikao Kikuu Forum was an initiative aimed at enhancing interaction between communication service providers, consumers, the Communication Authority of Kenya and the County Government of Kisii. It provided a platform to empower consumers of ICT services by informing them on their rights and responsibilities in the purchase and use of communication services
The forum’s objectives were as follows:-
i. To create a medium for dialogue and action.
ii. To promote access and use of ICT in the County.
iii. To showcase the ICT milestones achieved by the County in the provision ICT services.
iv. To spur the growth of the ICT industry in Kisii County.
COMMUNICATION AUTHORITY OF KENYA
The CA is mandated to ensure that provision of communication services is conducted in a manner that confers the most benefit to the citizens of Kenya and the economy such as is mandated under sections of the Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 as amended in 2013.
The Authority also serves to protect the users and consumers of communications services with regard to the prices, the quality and variety of the services. By this forum the Authority sort to increase consumer’s knowledge of their rights and responsibilities as well as increase the instance of interaction between communication service providers, consumers and the Authority.
Kisii County was one counties that were a beneficiaries of the Authority’s plans to conduct a Consumer Forum, which is envisioning that thru the realization of the importance of ICTs, County Governments will also leverage on this platform that will provide for public participation with a view to promote access and use of ICTs in the counties.
JKUAT-KISII CBD AS AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTION AND STAKEHOLDER
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology as an academic institution has contributed greatly in the milestones achieved in the provision of ICT services in the Western and Nyanza regions.
As a higher learning institution it’s set to produce a highly trained leaders and man power in various areas of fields; among them Agriculture, Engineering, Health Sciences, Enterprise Development, Built Environments, Applied Sciences among others and definitely not forgetting Technology.
JKUAT has set its vision to ensure that it is a “University of Global Excellence in Training, Research and Innovations for Development”. Technology being one of the fields that the University has excelled in, it has graduated a dynamic man power in Computer Science, Information Technology, Computer Technology, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, and Business Computing among many other related disciplines.
2. Research and Innovation
The above mentioned disciplines research has been undertaken and with it produced extra ordinary innovations that have been commercialized among them the renown M-pesa services by Safaricom. Also, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology can pride itself to be the producers of the first quality laptop brand dubbed “Taifa JSTAR”, which has been “manufactured locally, for Kenya and by Kenyans in a Kenyan Institution”. It has also endeavored to expand to other products such as Tablets, AIOs etc. These products are a significant contribution to the provision of ICT services to consumers; such that as other firms provide services, JKUAT shall endeavor to produce the electronic gadgets to be used locally and internationally.
In these innovations JKUAT is looking to meet the ICT needs both by training and producing products locally (here in Kenya), to the surrounding East African Countries, Africa continent and finally be global.