Kenic has a new CEO….. 7th in 7 years…

Abdalla Omari is the new Kenic CEO.  At this point I will stop counting coz it means the annual tradition of the board is; lets get a new CEO.

Usually, when people join new organisations, they are asked what they will do to improve the status of the organisation. I imagined these are some of the questions Omari had to answer.

I know I ask some annoying questions that at times people choose to ignore, like the immediate former CEO did. So I just copy pasted the questions, which mainly dealt with growing the registry, stability and resilience.

He gave me one of those answers you give when you want to put people off, like when they bother you too much. Here is the response;

“We are currently in the process of reviewing our Strategic plan. The Strategic Plan review will capture the intended strategies on marketing and price sensitivity challenges which you have raised. The moment the SP document is finalized, we will publish it on our website for all the stake holders to read.
 
I have studied our Technical report on downtime, and seen the latest downtime was in August 2014, after a period of over one year (that is Sept 2013). We are finalizing the process of setting up 3 redundant sites to address any future challenge of the same. This project should be complete in the next 2 weeks.”

Either the guy has no idea. I don’t get how the review of a strategic plan has anything to do with your leadership skills of steering a registry. How will you help that plan if you have no experience in running registry operations? I get it, I am told you don’t need to understand how to run a registry to make it efficient and sustainable; apparently even a farmer can run a ccTLD.

So, who is Abdalla Omari? Here is the CV….

“EDUCATION:

–       M.B.A- Maseno University

–       Bachelors In Management and Leadership- University of Free State, South Africa

–       C.P.A part three

–       Currently pursuing a PhD in Business Management

EXPERINCE:

I have been a General Manager for Avtech Systems Ltd, for around 5 years, before joining KENIC. Avtech Systems Ltd (www.avtechsystems.co.ke), is an ICT based organization which specializes in Electronic Security, Video Conferencing facility set up, Broadcasting Station setup, and audio vision solutions.

During my tenure at Avtech Systems, the organization was among the Top100 finalists competition, for a straight 3 years. KPMG consultants and Nation Media group moderate this competition. In the Top 100 competition of 2012, Avtech System was number one, in the ICT category.

I have also been a Finance Manager for a manufacturing industry called Dimensional Structures Ltd, and a senior accountant for a leading travel organization called, Charleston Travel Limited/fcmtravel (www.fcmtravel.co.ke).

My experienced is wide from Management/leadership, accounting, finance and auditing”

And the story continues…

Kenic has a new CEO

Kenic, the organisation tasked with managing the .ke domain, has a new CEO. Who may or may not know anything about heading a registry and how to make .ke more stable and resilient. For background on Kenic, you can read more here.

Emma Marube has the difficult task of heading the troubled organisation, as the Communications Authority ponders whether to privatise the entity or retain the multistakeholder model but offer competition on the second level. For example, if someone wanted to provide .com.ke registry services, it may offer competition to .co.ke but at the same time muddle the waters.

We all wish the registry well and we hope that it will be more secure. Most people stopped complaining about perennial outages because…..what will you do? Accept and move on….

I asked for a bio, just to know more about her….. and this is what I got.

“Our acting CEO is Mrs. Emma Bokea Marube. Prior to the appointment, she has been KeNIC’s Finance and Planning Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Business Management (Finance and Banking) and CPA. (K) Emma has also headed Finance and Accounting in several organisations.”
I followed it up with questions on what she had in store for us and how she is planning to steer the registry to prestige and envy that it once enjoyed in Africa ICT circles.
I got no response.
So we can assume that the new CEO knows or doesn’t know what she is doing. Kenic board has the reputation of hiring people who have no clue about running a registry, so I wasn’t exactly surprised when I got no comment.
We can also assume that she is moonlighting….. if this bio on this site is to be believed.
Marube
Moving on…..
The registry now has 76 registrars, holding domains from 27 as the lowest to 4186 currently held by Safaricom and 4788 held by EAC Directory. The desire for lower costs has seen Safaricom selling the domain at sh 500, which includes hosting. Others are selling the domain for as high as sh 3000 per year.
Ends

TESPOK now wants to manage KENIC

About a week ago, I received a press release, which I guess was widely circulated. It was from the Telecommunications Service Providers of Kenya, commonly known as TESPOK.  It was sent by the Access Kenya PR machine, maybe because Kris Senanu, Access Kenya MD is the chair of TESPOK.

Since then, a lot has been said and you can read John Walu’s blog in the nation online and if you are new to matters KENIC and domain names in Africa, you can read some posts I have done over the years.

Back to TESPOK, their concern was that the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) soon to be Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) had not consulted them on the idea of commercialising the .ke domain. The release was responding to a story appearing in the papers to that effect.

Kris Senanu, TESPOK Chair

Kris Senanu, TESPOK Chair

Now, TESPOK sits on the KENIC board, the release clearly indicates that it is one of the founding stakeholders and at the height of the crises at KENIC board, TESPOK gladly took over the technical functions at KENIC. It may well be that TESPOK didn’t want the disruption of services for .ke owners but it may also be that TESPOK was comfortable with the status.There was even a proposal for revenue sharing for performance of technical function.

At the point when it emerged that the new law would change the structure of KENIC, I expected TESPOK to be more vocal and to be the leading light, but maybe its just me, maybe they started the debate earlier.

When I got the release, my first reaction was: What changed at the KENIC board? The balance has been altered.

Then I got to the last segment of the release…. boom….

“Unfortunately, over the last five years interference of CCK, now CAK, in the day to day operations of KENIC has seen the organization experience unprecedented turnover of both Board and staff; with 5 CEO changes. The functions of KENIC have continued to be delivered because TESPOK maintained its commitment to the local industry as per the ICANN Agreement to provide technical and logistical support to the .ke manager.  It is important for CCK/CAK to give the .ke ccTLD manager the opportunity to deliver on agreed key deliverables that have not been met in the last five years. Commercialization is not a solution to meeting the identified and agreed industry gaps within the local internet community.

 TESPOK has both the technical and administrative resources necessary to continue as a sole guarantor of the ccTLD if and when CAK pulls out. It has provided such support in the past. This will evidently lead to consolidating the Internet technical community shared resources under one umbrella body; a move very similar to, the consolidation of the various government agencies handling government ICT deployment and implementation under the Kenya ICT Authority. The scenario would then consolidate KENIC (the .ke manager), KIXP (Africa’s fastest growing Internet Exchange Point) and I-CSIRT (Internet Computer Security Incident Response Team) under the TESPOK stewardship.”

 

The last para is where the weight is, TESPOK wants to handle the .ke registry. It is very clear that they have outlined their capacity. Please note, it says TESPOK can continue as the sole guarantor of the ccTLD, (.KE) and not of KENIC.

Technical capacity? But, KIXP was recently moved to the Liquid Telecom data centre, does it mean the KENIC registry will be moved there too?

There is a registrar organisation known as DRAKE that is represented in the KENIC board, are they ok with this? (Aly Hussein used to be the representative, now I have no idea how to get to the new rep, if you know, please help me 🙂

I am told of  battles of supremacy between DRAKE and TESPOK over who is the industry voice and who is king. There are some who think that registries like .ke thrive because of registrars example Nominet in the UK, while others feel the role of ISPs is vital.

It depends on which camp you are because there are arguments that ISPs have shifted from domain and hosting business and left it to smaller players who make it their core business.

There is no doubt that the KENIC story is convoluted and the decision for CCK to leave KENIC board and be replaced by the ICT Authority doesn’t make much sense. It is the same government, CCK and ICTA are brothers or sisters, whatever they want to do they can, let us not kid ourselves.

CCK says it has extended the comments on the new law by a week and when the time comes for the application process, I wonder whether TESPOK will put in a separate bid or will seek to protect KENIC and have it continue with the functions.

Time will tell…….

 

 

CCK set to duel with IANA/ICANN over .ke closure plans

Few weeks ago, I got information that KENIC, the .ke registry was set to be wound up or sold. The first reaction was that the person was joking, given that KENIC is a multi stakeholder body, and it was not in debt.

When I think of a multistakeholder body, I think of the coffee society or the cattle dip. How can anyone sell? The place can go broke but how can anyone sell? It belongs to the community.

Upon investigations, the information was right. The communications commission is intending to break it up and sell to the highest bidder. I wrote a news item to that effect and you can read it here.

The upshot of it that CCK sees itself as the real owner of the .ke domain together with TESPOK,  the Telecommunications Service Provider Association. Apparently the power vests it both of them.

There is no question that the .ke domain has gone to the dogs, you have to look at yesterday’s Africa Domain awards, South Africa and Tanzania reigned supreme, Kenya is nowhere to be seen or heard. Tanzania came to Kenya in 2005 and studied the model for running their .tz ccTLD. Now they have perfected the model and are runners up to South Africa. How now?

Think, KENIC has 28,000 domains, selling @ $35 how much is that? Even if they were to sell the domains @ $10 that is still $ 280,000 and they don’t pay rent.  Yet the board insisted on firing competent guys by slashing their salaries and replaced them with….well…. if the frequent outages is anything to go by….you know what it means.

To some extent I think CCK is right in wanting to reduce the cost of domains and reign on the errant board (the things I have heard, if I wrote I would be accused of malice, well, maybe I am already being accused but hey..). Maybe the folks at CCK want more secure and affordable domain but it this the best way to go?

There is a small problem that is IANA, the ICANN organ charged with management of the whole internet and ensuring it remains stable and end users are not affected. What happens if the tender goes to a company that has no experience in running a registry and in the process switches off wanjiku.co.ke? What will happen if the company decides to hell with $35 and charges $100?

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So, what/who is IANA?

“The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions contract (SA1301-12-CN-0035) between ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) to maintain the continuity and stability of services related to certain interdependent Internet technical management functions, known collectively as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority calls for a public consultation from all interested and affected parties to help satisfy the following objective:

C.2.8 Performance Standards — Within six (6) months of award, the Contractor shall develop performance standards, in collaboration with all interested and affected parties as enumerated in Section C.1.3, for each of the IANA functions as set forth at C.2.9 to C.2.9.4 and post via a website.”

As you can see from the excerpt from the IANA website, it is tasked by the US government to ensure that we all adhere to the rules. The IANA function is then contracted to ICANN. You can read more about it in an article I did sometimes back.

It is funny that CCK thought that the Kenyan law overrides the US law and that the enactment of the Kenya Information and Communications Act would keep away the requirements from IANA/ICANN.

For any change in the administrative or technical contact, IANA must be involved in a process known as redelegation. This is what IANA says:

“The process for changing the designated manager(s) of a ccTLD is known as redelegation.”

What would be the processes for .ke delegation or redelegation?

“The steps for delegation and redelegation involve preparation of an initial request via a Change Request Template. In addition to the Change Request Template, supplementary information is required to show that the request meets the eligibility criteria. ICANN uses this information to corroborate the delegation or redelegation request. This documentation includes:

  • Information showing the request serves the local interest in the country;
  • Documentation demonstrating the technical and administrative capabilities of the organization receiving the delegation;
  • A description of the legal status of the organization;
  • The names of contacts in any in-country government agencies who have a say in the delegation/redelegation;
  • A detailed description of how existing ccTLD operations will be transferred to the proposed new operator, in the case of a redelegation;
  • Documentation showing that the new operator will operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner; and,
  • The approvals of the current contacts for the TLD, in the case of a redelegation.”

 

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How long does this process take?

The shortest time the process can take, and that is assuming there are no objections is 9 months. If anyone objects, then it can take years. Is this what we want? You can read about basics of redelegation here.

How was KENIC formed anyway?

I have taken time to go through the redelegation notes and here is an except:

“In May 2000, a group of Kenyan Internet stakeholders launched an initiative to form a participatory, community-based non-profit organization located in Kenya to manage both the administrative and technical aspects of the .ke ccTLD registry. Since October 2001, there have been broad-based consultations and research led by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), with the participation of stakeholders including the Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK), the East Africa Internet Association (EAIA), Kenya Information Society (KIS), Kenya Education Network (KENET), the Computer Society of Kenya, the Institute of Computer Science, the Kenya Health Information Network, the Network Operators Association, Telkom Kenya, the Kenyan government’s Directorate of Information Technology Services, and the National Task Force on Electronic Commerce (NTF-ecom).

The result of these consultations was the Kenya Network Information Center, Limited (KENIC), organized under Kenyan law as a company limited by guarantee (a not-for-profit entity). In addition to performing the technical, administrative, and policy-setting functions for the .ke registry, a stated objective of KENIC is to “promote, manage and operate the delegated .ke ccTLD in the interest of the Kenyan Internet community and being mindful of the global Internet community interest in consistent with ICANN policies.”

Through the KENIC website, open mailing lists, Steering Committee and other organizational meetings, and public forums, the KENIC organizers undertook to develop technical and administrative plans, and to take input from and build support within the Kenyan Internet community. By mid-2002, the KENIC organizers has completed KENIC’s Memorandum & Articles of Association, and prepared and circulated for review and comment a draft annual budget for registry operations and a draft set of registration and administrative policies. Through the Computer Society of Kenya, an open membership organization, the organizers undertook a public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the involvement of individual and organizational Internet users in KENIC.”

You can read the whole redelegation report here. This was a protracted tussle, starting with Shem Ochuodho refusing to hand over .ke management to a more inclusive body. It makes very interesting reading.

Maybe we should explore which registry operations work and why. Before Kenya ICT community adopted this model, they had conversations with registry operators from Brazil and Australia and settled on a multistakeholder that includes all sectors.

What changed?

Kenya’s ICANN Rep Dents Africa Union Relationship, Foreign Affairs to Intervene

Last week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its meeting in Beijing. These meetings are held in every region, and discuss emerging technical and policy issues relating to the internet.

ICANN has several bodies but one of the key one and probably the most controversial is the Government Advisory Committee. Controversial because private sector, internet manager types feel that governments have nothing to do with internet management while governments feel they should be at the center of it because of public policy concerns. For a long time, ICANN has worked hard to show that its international and that there are many other governments involved in decision making and it is not only the US. Well, the US has the “Kiwi” share, and we all know how that goes.

Back to Kenya. Recently, Kenya appointed Sammy Buruchara-former KENIC chair, CEO as the representative. Sammy is the former chair of the DotConnect Africa, one of the applicants of the .africa new geographic domain. Matters of .africa have been protracted between DCA and the Africa Union, which is sponsoring the bid by UniForum SA. The bid by DCA has already received opposition from the AU and 16 other African governments.

Previously, Kenya had offered letters of support to the AU and had indicated that as a member of the AU, it had no intention of antagonizing what had already been agreed in previous AU meetings regarding .africa and other critical internet infrastructure.

DCA has always felt wronged by AU, ICANN and anyone who dared to question the intentions of its bid, so when Buruchara, the former chair was appointed as Kenya’s rep to the GAC, Sophia Bekele, DCA Principal, must have laughed and known that she had an opportunity to stir controversy.

Forget that the matters of AU participation in the GAC and the selection of the new gTLD applicants is presided by a different body from the GAC, Buruchara’s first order of business was to state that he was the only one, together with Michael Katundu of CCK, that are allowed to represent Kenya in the GAC. I have an email to that effect, written to the GAC chair.

Sophia Bekele and Sammy Buruchara- photo from DCA flickr stream

The second order of business was regarding .africa. Sample this email from Buruchara:

“I object to the above text on the following reasons:

  • that AU has representation in the GAC.
  • AU has endorsed a candidate for the .africa delegation. It is therefore an interested party.
  • AU can therefore not object to another candidate. It must instead leave the process to the ICANN committee to evaluate based on the guide book.

There is an apparent conflict of interest in this issue and GAC members representing AU governments while they have aright to support a certain candidate, must not under the same AU auspice, be the ones to object to other competing candidates.

I therefore do  not accept this  dotafrica  communique.”

I am not in any way indicating that Buruchara was not entitled to his opinion but it seemed that he had not read, followed or been briefed on what Kenya had committed to, what it supported and the line that needed to be followed. Kenya had voiced its opposition to DCA bid and it seemed clear that Kenya was following the AU.

Whatever Buruchara was suggesting failed and you can read more in the DCA blog but the African Union team and the other African countries attending were not happy with the embarrassment they suffered in the presence of other global internet leaders, who have been gripped by the soap opera that is .africa application.

Other African countries started wondering what was wrong with Kenya and its chameleon antics, some went ahead to spell down the genesis of the African Union position, for the sake of Buruchara and co. Here is one such email.

“Dear Mr Sammy,

 Following Abuja declaration, African governments including Kenya have mandated the African Union Commission (AUC) to establish dotAfrica (.Africa) as a continental Top Level Domain and in doing so to setup the structures and modalities for the implementation of this project. The AUC, with the assistance of an expert task team, has through and open and transparent RFP process appointed UniForum ZACR to apply for and administer the dotAfrica (.Africa) on behalf on the african continent.

As an individual cannot challenge a ministerial, country and head of states decisions, I therefore draw your attention on the letter signed on the 12-April-2012 by Minister Poghishio, Kenya ICT minister, showing Kenya support to the AU proposed process for the implementation of dotAfrica.

This support is widely known and a testimony that Kenya is in line with AU initiative, the only one to be delegated as dotAfrica is a geographic name requiring country support as stated by the Applicant guidebook. Africa is a clearly designated geographic region as defined in the UNESCO “Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings so the process of delegating its name must be subjected to sufficient checks and balances for the protection of interests and rights of African governments and the pan-African community.

 Cameroon therefore endorse and accept the proposed Uganda text and object the application submitted by dotConnectAfrica as it’s not the AU and african governments (including Kenya) initiative. 

If you were Kenyan and attending ICANN last week or the EACO meeting in Kampala this week, I hear the common question was: what is wrong with Kenya?

With the level of embarrassment, the next question was for people to seek clarification from PS Bitange Ndemo, who appointed Buruchara. The question was whether Kenya was abandoning the AU or whether there was a change of heart since the letter of support, sent by former minister Samuel Poghisio to the AU.

To avoid an international incident or disrupting its relationship with the AU, the ministry of Information and Communication has been forced to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seeking to redeem its relations with the AU

 

//

Kenyan Domain Loses Bragging Rights

When you think of technology development in East Africa, you think of Nairobi as the hub, the lead city. Internationally, this is the case, the PR and hype we have done is great, it makes Nairobi as the first stop for investors, techprenuers, idlers, graduates, those with companies that have failed elsewhere, venture capitalists and tech writers among others.

Truth is, Nairobi is great place; for both locals and international experts. I am sure travel blogs have listed all these issues, so I will not bore you with the details, i will just bore you with details of other kind 🙂

Last week, I wrote an article on how DNS Security Extension has been implemented in the region. In east Africa, Uganda and Tanzania lead the way, Kenya is nowhere near there. If interested, you can read more about DNSSEC from ISOC and a report by ICANN showing all the country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) that have implemented.

“The DNS is the phone book of the internet, translating names that people can remember into numbers that computer networks require in order to communicate. DNSSEC is a set of security protocols that fix fundamental vulnerabilities in the DNS. 

With DNSSEC, internet users know for sure that their web and email communications reach the server that they intended, and are not hijacked by an attacker to steal personal or confidential information.”- Secure64

DNSSEC became more popular in 2008 when Dan Kaminsky found a vulnerability on the DNS, some ISPs in Kenya were affected, and this improved the level of awareness as well as implementation.

DNSSEC secures against identity theft, online fraud, domain hijacking etc. Remember the time some Kenyan bank websites had been hijacked and were redirecting elsewhere? Imagine if online banking has grown that much in Kenya, the way mobile money has, it would have been a different story.

So what?

Globally, implementation is still slow but it was expected that countries with fewer domains, like the ones in Africa, would be quick to implement but so far, only about five countries have implemented, and two of them are in East Africa.

Just a bit of history, Kenya was the first country in the region to get back its .ke domain, in a process known as redelegation, it was also the first country to set up its domain registry, Brazil was instrumental in training the first registry admin, around 2003 or there a bouts. The other countries set up their registries later.

For the longest time, .ke was involved in training on anything TLD related, if there were continental training; AfNOG, AfTLD etc that related to registry operations or management, most likely Kenic would be involved.

Well, that all changed at some point because when it comes to DNSSEC training, Tanzania is now taking the lead by sending trainer (s) at the continental meetings. This is a good thing, means the region is growing in terms of tech and innovation.

But why is .ke not up there with .ug and .tz?

Kenic had had its issues and you can read more here

To be fair, I spoke to Anthony Wambugu,  Kenic CEO, about three weeks ago and wanted to know the progress they have made with DNSSEC. He promised to send me the info, and I am still holding out for that. Even though you can see the DNSSEC status from the ICANN report, which is done periodic and captures whatever stage it is.

So, for a registry that seemed to have gotten it right so long ago, where did Kenic get overtaken by Uganda and Tanzania in terms of technical progress?

 

 

What are the benefits?

Apart from the benefits covered in the articles above, if the domain registry, (ccTLD) has implemented, it means other domain owners can now start implementing, which will help e-commerce. I must admit that there are other reasons that e-commerce hasn’t picked up and this may help an inch.

If the registry management has DNSSEC trainers, it means training locally is easier and ISPs can organize their own trainings with the help of the registry (Kenic) but this is not the case.

Ideally, the push to implement DNSSEC is led by big ISPs that want to use every avenue to market. But the ISPs or the tech department must also have a clue about global trends.

To assess the level of awareness, you start with Safaricom  the biggest ISP, with $20million invested in a cloud service, the largest Telecoms company in East and Central Africa, (you can insert other titles here).

I got in touch with Thibaud Rerolle, the IT director at Safaricom, to try and understand why Safaricom has not taken any step towards DNSSEC, like other ISPs in Africa, that can at least validate DNSSEC.

Well, let us just say that Safaricom needs to send its techies for those DNSSEC trainings.

Maybe Kenya doesn’t need tech developments to maintain its position as the lead tech destination but as we bask in the glory, its nice to acknowledge that other countries are forging ahead 🙂

 

Kenic Publishes .Ke Registrar and Domain Numbers

About a month or so ago, Kenic, the .ke domain administrator shared the numbers that the registrars were pulling in. This was in a marketing campaign meant to increase the number of domains.

The list was shared to all the registrars and I guess anyone who was interested. To me it looked like name and shame but when I spoke to Anthony Wambugu, the new Kenic CEO, it was a way to motivate the registrars.

I said thanks to Wambugu and team for sharing this list because in many occasions, people close to the Kenic board say “I sell so many .ke domains” and when I look at the list, it is such a shame.

I also had a chance to visit Kenic offices and hear of how the .ke has changed, the plans for the future etc…. Yes, they have changed, at least I got some tea and samosa 🙂 and for the other aspects, it remains to be seen.

The team seemed eager to prove that Kenic is way better. They kept on saying how the online reputation was bad, courtesy of some bloggers and with a straight face I asked “who are these bloggers?” and I got a silent stare from the marketing manager 🙂

Before I digress to other things…… first enjoy the numbers…..

REGISTRAR 2012 ACTURALS 2013 TARGET
2013 Monthly TGT
2013 Weekly TGT
1 EACdirectory 2042 4000 333 83
2 SawaSawa.com Limited 1296 3000 250 63
3 Sasahost Limited 1104 2000 167 42
4 Safaricom Limited 913 2000 167 42
5 Webhost Kenya Ltd 887 2000 167 42
7 deepAfrica Co Ltd 347 1000 83 21
8 Kenya Website Experts 273 1000 83 21
9 AccessKenya Group 156 500 42 11
10 ALMOND COMMUNICATIONS 155 500 42 11
11 STRATECH OFFICE SYSTEMS 155 500 42 11
12 Kenyaweb Hostmaster 147 500 42 11
13 Afriregister Limited 142 500 42 11
14 Mambo Microsystems 119 400 33 8
15 ETIQET SOLUTIONS LIMITED 117 400 33 8
16 Greenbell Communication Ltd. 117 400 33 8
17 Jambo Telkom LTD 117 400 33 8
18 Get Online Hosts 116 400 33 8
19 Intrepid Data Systems 116 400 33 8
20 Wananchi Online Ltd 106 400 33 8
21 iWay Africa Kenya 79 300 25 6
22 Imagine Brands 77 300 25 6
23 CNETGLOBAL 74 300 25 6
24 Kenya Softnet Ltd 74 300 25 6
25 Nairobinet Online Ltd 72 300 25 6
26 Aplin 71 300 25 6
27 Blueprint Technologies 71 300 25 6
28 Yengas Technologies 69 300 25 6
29 Heartbit Computer Solutions 66 300 25 6
30 Shine Web Technologies Ltd 57 200 17 4
31 Swift Global LTD 55 200 17 4
32 Callkey Networks Ltd 51 200 17 4
33 Infoken Solutions 49 200 17 4
34 Gempack Dot Net Enterprises 48 200 17 4
35 ICT Consultants Limited 48 200 17 4
36 Government Information Technology Services 46 200 17 4
37 Arise Online Ltd 45 200 17 4
38 Peak and Dale Solutions 35 200 17 4
39 Ignite Africa Limited 34 200 17 4
40 Packet Central Technologies 34 200 17 4
41 RevWebolution Business Solutions 33 200 17 4
42 Massive Dynamic 31 200 17 4
43 JBA Advertising Co ltd. 30 200 17 4
44 Kenya Webhosting 29 200 17 4
45 Xpressive Advertising and Design 27 200 17 4
46 Digital Horizons Ltd 26 200 17 4
47 Globefinity Systems Ltd 25 200 17 4
48 Dotsavvy Limited 23 200 17 4
49 Kenya Data Networks 23 200 17 4
50 MTN Business 23 200 17 4
51 WebSoft Development 23 200 17 4
52 Transworld Computer Channels 22 200 17 4
53 Visual Pixel Systems 22 200 17 4
54 Kenya Education Network 21 200 17 4
55 Palm Online Systems 21 200 17 4
56 Domain Masters 20 200 17 4
57 Geda Limited 20 200 17 4
58 GELATI Limited 20 200 17 4
59 mbambu ltd 20 200 17 4
60 MIH Internet East Africa 20 200 17 4
61 secunets Technologies 20 200 17 4
62 Ajibu LTD 17 200 17 4
63 Dynamic World Technology Ltd 17 200 17 4
64 Ecobiz 17 200 17 4
65 Intersurf Communications Ltd. 17 200 17 4
66 Messaging Labs Africa Solutions 17 200 17 4
67 Starnet Solutions 17 200 17 4
68 Swiftweb Technologies Ltd 17 200 17 4
69 KEMNET TECHNOLOGIES 16 200 17 4
70 Web Host Africa limited 16 200 17 4
71 Extra IT Solutions 15 200 17 4
72 Ideas Africa Ltd 15 200 17 4
73 Infiniti Software Solutions Ltd 15 200 17 4
74 Softlink Chain LTD 15 200 17 4
75 Metrocomia East Africa 14 200 17 4
76 Footprint Computer Solutions Limited 13 200 17 4
77 SasaHivi Media Ltd 13 200 17 4
78 Xtranet Communication Ltd 13 200 17 4
79 Creative Edge Ltd 12 200 17 4
80 Cyberworld Internet Solution Providers 12 200 17 4
81 WEB TRIBE LIMITED 12 200 17 4
82 Asterisk Technologies 11 200 17 4
83 Computer Doctors 11 200 17 4
84 Domains Kenya Ltd 11 200 17 4
85 Four99 11 200 17 4
86 Jamii Telecommunications 11 200 17 4
87 Lexsynergy Kenya Limited 11 200 17 4
88 Logic Outsource Limited 11 200 17 4
89 WebRunner Limited 11 200 17 4
90 3mice Interactive Media Ltd 10 200 17 4
91 Alphagen Limited 10 200 17 4
92 MyISP Limited 10 200 17 4
93 Digital Vision EA Ltd 9 200 17 4
94 J.S. ENGINE 9 200 17 4
95 K.I.O.S.K. Limited 9 200 17 4
96 Loksons 9 200 17 4
97 Safenames Kenya 9 200 17 4
98 Sahannet Ltd 9 200 17 4
99 Tangerine Ltd., 9 200 17 4
100 Alence Solutions Limited 8 200 17 4
101 CompEdge Solutions Ltd 8 200 17 4
102 Mackphilisa Systems 8 200 17 4
103 Pwani Telecomms Ltd 8 200 17 4
104 Samnet Africa Limited 8 200 17 4
105 Web Dynamics Limited 8 200 17 4
106 Internet Solutions Kenya Ltd. 7 200 17 4
107 ITwenty Seven Ltd 7 200 17 4
108 Ace Solution Africa Ltd 6 200 17 4
109 Aja Limited. 6 200 17 4
110 Bunia.net 6 200 17 4
111 Espawebstars Enterprises 6 200 17 4
112 Exemplar Technologies Limited 6 200 17 4
113 Flametree Systems Engineering 6 200 17 4
114 Flex Solutions 6 200 17 4
115 HASOFT KENYA 6 200 17 4
116 IVORY PROFFESSIONALS VENTURES 6 200 17 4
117 Muva Technologies Ltd. 6 200 17 4
118 Overdrive Consultants Ltd 6 200 17 4
119 Sayari Communications Ltd 6 200 17 4
120 Scalable Wizards 6 200 17 4
121 WEBKRAFT KENYA LTD- wkl2 6 200 17 4
122 Wunderman Nairobi 6 200 17 4
123 Brand Consultants Ltd 5 100 8 2
124 Comtel Systems Ltd 5 100 8 2
125 Mindgem Concepts 5 100 8 2
126 Pure Concepts Ltd 5 100 8 2
127 Satori Solutions 5 100 8 2
128 SOURCE CODE LIMITED 5 100 8 2
129 Sumatran Technologies Solutions Co. Ltd 5 100 8 2
130 Zote Telkom 5 100 8 2
131 abba.co.ke 4 100 8 2
132 ARK CREATIVE LTD 4 100 8 2
133 FortisCL 4 100 8 2
134 frepactech – Danson pasi seet 4 100 8 2
135 Interactive Technology Ltd 4 100 8 2
136 ITworX Limited 4 100 8 2
137 Linux Solutions Company 4 100 8 2
138 Monshasha Technologies 4 100 8 2
139 Newsline Media Productions 4 100 8 2
140 Nouvelles Images 4 100 8 2
141 Onpoint-IT Solutions International 4 100 8 2
142 Sisi Communications Limited 4 100 8 2
143 Smile Telecom Solutions Ltd 4 100 8 2
144 TEXADA LTD 4 100 8 2
145 Way Forward Technologies 4 100 8 2
146 Beninda Dot Com 3 100 8 2
147 Converged Media Solutions 3 100 8 2
148 eazywiz web solutions 3 100 8 2
149 iridiumInteractive 3 100 8 2
150 Jaynet Telecoms Ltd 3 100 8 2
151 My Kenyan Host 3 100 8 2
152 PrimeSoft Solutions (K) Ltd 3 100 8 2
153 Skyprime Solutions 3 100 8 2
154 Tuseme Africa Ltd 3 100 8 2
155 Voneo Media Group 3 100 8 2
156 ZAMOYA.COM LTD 3 100 8 2
157 Allied Technique Inc 2 100 8 2
158 Chui Technologies 2 100 8 2
159 Cyber Dream 2 100 8 2
160 Francis Montet 2 100 8 2
161 Kenya Network Information Centre 2 100 8 2
162 MobiKash Afrika Ltd 2 100 8 2
163 Pensoft Systems Limited 2 100 8 2
164 Sentinel Systems ltd 2 100 8 2
165 TechDirect Solutions Ltd 2 100 8 2
166 Twenty Four Interactive 2 100 8 2
167 Eighty Four Inspired (84Inspired) 1 100 8 2
168 Frontier Optical Networks 1 100 8 2
169 ITech Solutions Ltd 1 100 8 2
170 Knowledge Technology Ltd 1 100 8 2
171 LANet Consulting 1 100 8 2
172 Mzoori LTD 1 100 8 2
173 Octopus ICT Solutions LTD 1 100 8 2
174 Online Kenya Technologies 1 100 8 2
175 Quintica Kenya Limited 1 100 8 2
176 TraceSoft Limited 1 100 8 2
10875 47000 3929 959

Update: Kenic AGM set for Friday 24th Aug. at Panafric

Kenic has set its Annual General Meeting for Friday this week, to rubber stamp the board’s decision to fire all employees and start afresh.

Contrary to past practices where the AGM comprised of registrars, government, internet businesses and basically anyone interested in domain issues, this one will be a closed door session, open only to parties that play nice and don’t ask questions.

The meeting comes after a stormy two months for the .ke country code Top Level Domain registry, where board members have left and a change manager appointed to run the affairs.

Kenic was constituted as a multi-stakeholder body, where all parties concerned with the critical internet infrastructure would have equal say. Maybe the idea of .ke being critical doesnt sink in but can you imagine if KRA.go.ke failed to work for a day because someone deleted it by mistake or deliberately? No filing of returns, clearing and forwarding services and all other services that we enjoy at the click of a mouse.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry of information and communication, Bitange Ndemo says he was blindsided by Kenic board’s decision to fire all staff but more facts will emerge after the AGM.

I wonder whether there will be security guards to keep other people from attending 🙂

Technical services handed to TESPOK

When the cracks at Kenic started emerging, TESPOK tabled its proposal to run technical services for Kenic. Indeed, immediately Kris Senanu took over as TESPOK representative on the board, his first order of business was to address the proposal. Details are contained in my previous post.

In retrospect, TESPOK must have foreseen that at some point, Kenic will come to such a position and TESPOK expertise will be needed. That is what happened. After the technical staff were let go, they were asked to send passwords to TESPOK, who are now in charge of technical functions at Kenic.

This was expected because its not like any other aspect of tech. That part of the resource is scarce. I am not sure there are many techies who you can call one morning and say, “hey, come in this morning and run the registry, deletions are this time, DNS updates that time,” and the person will hit the ground running. I may be wrong but they may need experience in such settings.

I guess much of the details on who handles the technical functions, whether the open multistakeholder model continues and leadership direction will come out after the AGM.

🙂

 

Kenic CEO fires first salvo at govt, terminates all employees

In a strange move, Sammy Buruchara, change manager, acting CEO (etc) at Kenic, the .ke registry, has issued termination letters to three employees on the payroll, in a move likely to cause friction within the government.

The move comes barely a week after Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary in the ministry of information and communication announced plans to increase government influence at the Kenic board.

Now, the board and the CEO seem to have pulled the rug on Ndemo’s intentions, because if there are no employees, what will the board be doing, therefore nullifying Ndemo’s intention.

To digress a bit, this is not the first time Kenic has defied the PS. Last month, Kenic undertook to sponsor and foot the cost of Kenya IGF under a body constituted by the PS. After the event, Buruchara threw a tantrum and said he can not pay because the Kenya IGF committee formed by the PS had no legal standing. Apparently the agreement was that Kenic would pay suppliers directly but the promise was reneged. The event was held at Jacaranda and one of the organizers, Grace Githaiga, is at a loss, wondering how to pay Ksh. 130,000 as the stand off between the Kenic board and the PS continues.

Anyway, back to the employee termination story, the excuse is that so many of these actions are being taken after the institutional assessment, I have read the document and this is what it says…..

“Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Review the strategic plan to make it SMARTER and include pertinent chapters that were missing; Align the budget, organizational structure and systems to the Strategic plan
  2. Develop a marketing strategy for ease of implementation of the strategic plan.
  3. Review existing policies (Human Resource, Finance, Procurement & Information Technology) in alignment to the laws of Kenya and corporate best practise. Design Business continuity and Risk Management policies and procedures.
  4. Review board charter and align it to the Memorandum and Articles of association and corporate best practise. Review KeNIC’s stakeholders and bring on board, stakeholders who will add value to KeNIC and support it deliver on its mandate.”

Now, I do not understand why the board would terminate all employees, its not like .ke registry is a matatu where you fire a driver in the morning and immediately get another one to replace. How do you get a system admin to run the registry, learn and run its back ups etc.

According to the Institutional Assessment, “the Kenic board reviewed the staff salaries in 2011 and provided increments of 32%,50% and 38% for staff in grade M1,M2 and M3.It is not clear how this increments were arrived at though the Board’s aim was to incentivise the staff to perform in implementing the strategic plan.”

I have read the document and I cannot see the recommendation that all employees should be terminated, how about business continuity? I have written to Buruchara asking for further info on the contingency plan but he hasn’t responded, as soon as he does, I will copy paste the response 🙂

Just to be clear, Kenic has three (3) full time employees and a board of Seven (7) members to oversee the operations 🙂

Here is the Institutional Assessment of the growth in the past nine years…

 .Ke Domain Names Growth

Year Domains Growth % growth
2003 2218
2004 2961 743 33%
2005 3733 772 26%
2006 5625 1892 50%
2007 6600 975 17%
2008 10000 3400 51%
2009 12,200 2200 22%
2010 15300 3100 25%
2011 20061 4761 15%

On a separate note, TESPOK has proposed to take over technical operations at Kenic. Here is the proposal brief on what Kenic and TESPOK responsibilities will be.

KENIC will attend to the following responsibilities:

  1. Act as a trustee for the .ke country-code-top-level-domain
  2. Become the .ke domain administrative contact
  3. Oversee the administration of the .ke ccTLD and its Second Level Domains
  4. Ensure a cost-effective administration of the .ke ccTLD and its subdomains
  5. Notify the Internet Corporation of Names and Numbers (ICANN) of any change to the contact information about the.ke ccTLD
  6. Allow ICANN to access .ke zone files and registration data (up to date development).
  7. Ensure appropriate billing and collections for all domains registered under .ke
  8. Outsource the technical operations of the .KE registry
  9. Conduct periodic audits of the system and financials

TESPOK will be responsible for:

  1. Provide Domain name Registry services for all .ke, and ensure that the database is secure and stable
  2. Maintain and promote the operational stability and use if the .ke ccTLD
  3. Manage system operations, upgrades, implement new features and technologies as well as technical changes to the .ke database as instructed by KENIC at no additional costs to KENIC
  4. Provide the technical back-end solution for .KE DNS, WHOIS, Network Security, Data Escrow and Billing
  5. Provide appropriate skill sets and expertise to handle the .ke technical requirements
  6. Avail all relevant information to facilitate decision making as and when required by KENIC