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Functions of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK)

The role of the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) is stipulated in the Kenya Information and Communications Act. The Communications Authority of Kenya is responsible for facilitating the development of the information and communications sectors including broadcasting, cybersecurity, multimedia, telecommunications, electronic commerce, postal and courier services.

The Communications Authority of Kenya is the regulatory authority for the communications sector in Kenya. The Kenya Information and Communications Act established the Authority in 1999. The Commission should be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and should, in its corporate name, be capable of—

  • suing and being sued;
  • taking, purchasing or otherwise acquiring, holding, charging and disposing of movable and immovable property;
  • borrowing or lending money; and
  • doing or performing all such other things or acts for the proper performance of its functions under this Act which may be lawfully done or performed by a body corporate.

The object and purpose for which the Commission is established should be to licence and regulate postal, information and communication services following the provisions of the Kenya Information and Communications Act.

The Authority should be independent and free of control by government, political or commercial interests in the exercise of its powers and in the performance of its functions.

In fulfilling its mandate, the Authority should be guided by the national values and principles of governance in Article 10 and the values and principles of public service in Article 232(1) of the Constitution.

Functions of the Communications Authority of Kenya

The functions of the Communications Authority of Kenya are as follows:

  • licensing all systems and services in the communications industry, including; telecommunications, postal, courier and broadcasting.
  • managing the country’s frequency spectrum and numbering resources.
  • facilitating the development and management of a national cybersecurity framework.
  • facilitating the development of eCommerce.
  • type approving and accepting communications equipment meant for use in the country.
  • protecting consumer rights within the communications environment.
  • managing competition within the sector to ensure a level playing ground for all players.
  • regulating retail and wholesale tariffs for communications services.
  • managing the universal access fund to facilitate access to communications services by all in Kenya.
  • monitoring the activities of licensees to enforce compliance with the licence terms and conditions as well as the law.

Board of the Communications Authority

The management of the Communications Authority of Kenya should vest on the Board which should consist of—

  • a chairperson appointed by the President;
  • the Principal Secretary for the time being responsible for matters relating to broadcast, electronic, print and all other types of media;
  • the Principal Secretary for the time being responsible for matters relating to finance;
  • the Principal Secretary for the time being responsible for matters relating to internal security; and
  • seven persons appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for the time being responsible for information, communication and technology.

In appointing the seven members of the Board, the Cabinet Secretary should ensure —

  • that the appointees to the Board reflect the interests of all sections of society;
  • equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and other marginalised groups; and
  • that not more than two-thirds of the members are of the same gender.

For more about the Communications Authority of Kenya, see the Kenya Information and Communications Act and visit their website at ca.go.ke.

Gĩthĩnji is the founder of afrocave.com. He is passionate about politics and governance, public finance management and cycling.@GithinjiKE

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