Legislation will be passed soon by the Kenyan Parliament to establish a national information and communication technology coordination body.The National ICT Coordination Council will draw members from the government, the private sector, the civil society, the donor community, academic and research-based institutions. It will be first of its kind in Kenya.

"The specific role of the [Council] shall be to advise the government and all [concerned parties] on matters relating to the development and implementation, monitoring and evaluation strategies and plans to accelerate the process of transforming Kenya into an [ICT-enabled] information-based society," a new draft policy document says.

It has been crafted by the Communications Commission of Kenya, Institute of Computer Science at the University of Nairobi, National Security Intelligence Services, Telkom Kenya, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, National Communications Secretariat; Central Bank of Kenya; KenCell Communications; Kenya Power and Lighting Company; Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Tourism and Information.

The Council shall operate independently of the e-Government Service Office - also to be set up under the new policy - which will be based in the Office of the President.The document is the most comprehensive ever to be written on the management of ICT policy issues, and says the Council shall set up national structures and working groups to spearhead initiatives.It will work closely with the National Economic and Social Council - launched by President Mwai Kibaki during the recent investment conference - for policy coordination.

The Nation