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Emerging Tech

Call for comments on Kenya's emerging technologies draft document

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The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is calling for public comment on a new document called the Framework For Emerging Technologies Regulatory Sandbox. Kenyans need to submit their comments on the document before February 3, 2023.

The CA has created the draft framework because it realized that the country's current regulation has not been catering for emerging technologies like fintech, cybersecurity and others.

According to the regulator, a sandbox is a specific set of guidelines and rules that give companies an opportunity to test new products and services. It is also intended to discover innovative applications as well as support their development.

"A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by a regulator that allows fintech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment under a regulator's supervision," the CA said in a statement.

"The sandbox provides an evidence-based tool for fostering innovation while remaining vigilant over consumer protection and maintaining market stability, among other risks," the draft regulation document explains.

Even though it is not clear what the scope of this sandbox will be, the regulator said it will eventually be informed by emerging technologies which pose both opportunities and challenges to the ICT sector.

Sandbox benefits

The published draft highlights how the sandbox will aim to improve access to funding for startups by reducing regulatory uncertainty. It will also aim to fast-track market access for new innovators.

"The sandbox will also be an incubation of startups by providing a supportive environment for testing and experimentation and partnering with other stakeholders," the draft document states.

Want to know more about telco financials, regulation and deals in Africa? Check out our dedicated Business of Tech content channel here on Connecting Africa.

Furthermore, the main goal of those incubators is to produce successful firms that will leave the incubation program financially viable and freestanding, it added. The sandbox will also aim to provide an environment where if an experiment fails, its impact on consumers and the innovator itself will be limited.

Regulatory sandboxes are not a new thing; African countries including Sierra Leone, Mozambique and Rwanda have adopted such frameworks in the past.

Kenyans are urged to email comments on the proposed guidelines to [email protected] by February 3, 2023.

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*Top image source: Image by jcomp on Freepik

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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