Since the Jubilee government’s announcement of new Cabinet and Principal Secretaries where former ICT PS Dr Bitange Ndemo’s name was conspicuously missing, many have wondered about his whereabouts.
However, Dr Ndemo – widely regarded by many as a key proponent of the country’s ICT sector under whose watch various major milestones were recorded – has announced via KICTANET that he has been appointed to serve on the boards of two international ICT-related bodies.
Contributing to a discussion about lessons that the ICT industry can learn from the Kenya ICT Board’s performance since its establishment, Dr Ndemo stated that he’s no intention of serving the ICT industry in an administrative capacity.
Wrote Dr Ndemo: “Personally, I have no intention of ever wanting to serve in our sector at the administrative level. I continue to play a key role as a newly appointed Honorary Chair of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) and an advisor to the Better than Cash Alliance. I will also continue to participate in activities that will deepen the application of technology in Kenya. I also have time now to write more than I have done before.”
The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is a new coalition of private sector, public sector, and civil society organizations formed to advance the shared aim of affordable access to both mobile and fixed-line Internet in developing countries.
With the World Wide Web Foundation serving as its secretariat, A4AI’s primary focus is to reach the UN Broadband Commission Broadband Target of entry-level broadband services priced at less than 5% of average monthly income. It seeks to enable the next 2 billion users to come online (with a particular focus on low-income countries) and raise Internet penetration rates to least 40% in all countries.
The Better Than Cash Alliance on the other hand, raises awareness of the benefits of replacing physical cash with electronic payments. It facilitates, among other things, the transition for governments, the development community and the private sector by advocating for organizations to commit to transition their distribution of government benefits, humanitarian aid assistance, payroll, and supplier payments from cash to electronic.
The alliance has 14 members drawn from various groups – Governments (Republic of Malawi; Department of Social Prosperity of the Government of Colombia; Republic of Afghanistan; Republic of Kenya; Republic of Peru; Republic of the Philippines); Development Community (ACDI/VOCA; CARE; Chemonics International; Concern Worldwide; Grameen Foundation; MEDA; Mercy Corps; United Nations Development Programme; USAID and World Food Programme).