2020 Oct 1. Transcript of Audio Clip on Key Legislation influencing Kenyan Tech


Transcript of Audio Clip Recorded October 1, 2020

Leonida Mutuku:

I think the foundation of tech in Nairobi was I.T. You know, it's always interesting when people are like, Oh, so you're in I.T.? And I'm like, I'm not. Like, I.T. sounds like a lot of cabling and networking. Yeah, but really, that was where education, tech education came from. But Professor Waema, Tony Omwansa, those are like the people who might know these dates and even some of those histories that we are not aware of. Okay, I'm trying to think of what else was a big thing that happened. We might want to talk about things like Safaricom, telecommunications, you know, like setting up of the first mobile network in like 1999. Because that's when like I think things really exploded because the Internet became a bit more available. And mobile phones, of course, which is a huge story of Nairobi's tech development.

Angela Okune:

There was some legislation in–I think it was 2008–that I remember doing some research on that for the [Base of the Pyramid] BoP study. I remember doing some research that looked at legislation that made the price of mobile phones cheaper. And we saw like a huge jump in mobile phone ownership from the survey, right at the same year that they became cheaper. So like, and one of the findings we put was like, you can actually see the direct effects that legislation and policy changes can have on things like that. 

Leonida Mutuku: 

I don’t think it was so much mobile phones. I think it was more SIM cards and like access to actual, you know, tariffs and stuff.

Angela Okune:

I have to look at it. I'm pretty sure it was phones. I think the phones themselves became much cheaper. Yeah. The tariffs on the actual handsets became cheaper. I think it was 2008. I will have to look. So if there are any other legislation?

Leonida Mutuku:

Then we need to talk about remember–and in vain–that public participation against the introduction of VAT on mobile devices. I think it was 2014 or something? If I’m not wrong. Yeah. So the Access to Information Law, just because of the data work.

Angela Okune:

Which was which year?

Leonida Mutuku:

2016. Although the bill had been around for like, maybe three years before that. Kenya joining the Open Government Partnership, because that's also what led to the Open Data Portal being set up. And that was in 2011. The referendum, I think the new constitution enshrined the citizens’ right to information. So that's 2010.


Creative Commons Licence

Created Date

October 1, 2020 - 10:15am


Contributed date

October 24, 2022 - 2:22am

Critical Commentary

This is a transcript of an audio clip recorded during a Zoom call between the co-authors Angela Okune and Leonida Mutuku which took place on October 1, 2020. As part of conceptualizing their paper, the co-authors were discussing key legislation influencing Kenyan tech.

Find the audio clip associated with this transcript here.


This transcript is part of the source data for the article "Becoming an African Techpreneur: geopolitics of investments in “local” Kenyan entrepreneurship" by Angela Okune and Leonida Mutuku, published in the journal Engaging Science, Technology, and Society.

Find the full associated data here.

Explore other data published as part of the STS Spaces and Places Thematic Collection.

Group Audience


Cite as

Leonida Mutuku and Angela Okune, 1 October 2020, "2020 Oct 1. Transcript of Audio Clip on Key Legislation influencing Kenyan Tech", contributed by Leo Mutuku and Angela Okune, Engaging Science, Technology, and Society (ESTS) Journal, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 16 January 2023, accessed 19 May 2024. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/2020-oct-1-transcript-audio-clip-key-legislation-influencing-kenyan-tech