The Kenya Information and Communication Act, was first enacted in 1998 and has been amended again in 2013. There is a bill currently in parliament to amend it again in 2019. This Act is the one that is responsible for ICT regulation in the country as well as providing for the creation of the Communications Authority of Kenya.

There are two parts of the bill, one which seeks to regulate Social Media in the country and another part that seeks to restrict firms offering telecommunication service not to offer any other service.


Restriction of Telecommunication Firms


A telecommunication company can offer other services only if:

  • It obtains a license from the respective regulator. Example is a telecom company will need to acquire a license from the Central Bank of Kenya if it were to carry out banking business
  • It legally splits, that is forms a different entity. If at the time of this bill coming into force, then an existing telcom company will be forced to spin off its existing business within 6 months
  • Contravention of this law attracts a fine of KSh 10 Million or 2 years in jail or both


Telecom companies will also be forced to refund customers for a call drop at the rate of KSH 10 worth of airtime for each call drop up to a maximum of 3 call drops per day


Universal Service Fund

The  Act, provides for the establishment of a Universal Service Fund (USF), administered and managed by the Communications Authority. The purpose of the Fund is to support widespread access to ICT services, promote capacity building and innovation in ICT services in the country. It is currently levied at 1% of gross revenue for all licensees.  This amendment seeks to legislate the use of this fund in the following ways:

  • 6% (Probably should have been 60%, appears to be a typo) ensuring availability of telecommunication services to all.
  • 20% for availability of telecommunication services to schools, libraries, and rural healthcare facilities
  • 10% for increased nationwide services for advanced (4G, 5G?) telecommunication services
  • 10% at the discretion of the commission

Misuse of this fund attracts a fine of KSh 2 Million or 2 years in jail or both.


More details on this amendment here

Regulation of Social Media

The second part of this bill provides for regulation of social media in the following ways

  • Social media companies intending to operate in Kenya will be required to:
    • Set up a physical office
    • Register users using legal documents (ID, Passport etc)
    • Submit users data to Communications Authority
    • Ensure that only adults (18+years) can register on its platform


  • Social media users have an obligation too:
    • Ensure whatever they post is true, fair and accurate
    • Does not degrade another person and
    • Is not discriminatory to any category of persons


  • Group administrators have additional responsibilities:
    • Notify Communication’s Authority of intention to form a group
    • Approve members joining the group
    • Control undesirable content.


Regulation of Bloggers

  • Bloggers will require a license from Communication Authority before they start blogging. Without which they risk a fine of KSh 500,000 or two years in prison or both
  • Bloggers will have to adhere to a conde of conduct


Electronic Transactions and Cybersecurity

This amendment also provides for:

  • The use of digital signatures in ecommerce transactions
  • Licensing of
    • Electronic certification services
    • Country code top level domain (ie “.ke”)
  • Legal recognition of electronic records and retention of the same
  • Validity of contracts done through electronic communication
  • Recognition of parties in electronic communication
  • Attribution of electronic records
  • Acknowledgement of receipt
  • Secure electronic record
  • Compliance with a requirement for a signature and legal recongintion of the same
  • Provision of a protected system, whose unauthorized access could lead to KSh 10 Million fine or 10 years in jail or both
  • An Electronic Gazette
  • Summary of penalties on this amendement are:
Offense Fine Jail term
Unauthorized access of a protected system KSh 10 Million 10 years
Intentional and unauthorized manipulation of a telecommunication system KSh 5 Million 5 years
Unauthorized access to and interception of computer service KSh 500,000 3 years
Impairment of a computer service KSh 200,000 2years
Unauthorized modification of computer material/data KSh 500,000 3 years
Denial of Service Attack KSh 200,000 2years
Unauthorized disclosure of password KSh 200,000 2years
unauthorized possession of devices and data (hacking tools) KSh 200,000 2years
Electronic Fraud KSh 200,000 3years
Tampering with source code KSh 300,000 3years
Pornography KSh 200,000 2years
Fraudulent electronic signatures KSh 1 Million 5 years
Unauthorized access of a protected system * Duplicated KSh 1 Million 5years
Re-programming of a mobile phone (change IMEI) KSh 1 Million 5years

More details here