Cofek to give views to EALA legislators on the East African Community Electronics Transactions Bill, 2014

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The Cofek delegation led by Chairman Mr Ephraim Githinji Kanake and Program Officer David Kedode will tomorrow, March 3, 2015 present views to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) legislators on the East African Community Electronics Transactions Bill, 2014.

The meeting will begin at 9.00 am in Nairobi, tomorrow. The Bill aims at making provisions for the use, facilitation and regulation of electronic transactions. 

It also aims at encouraging the use of e-Government and to provide for related matters including consumer protection.

Other agencies invited are Competition Authority of Kenya; Capital Markets Authority; Kenya National Chamber Commerce & Industry; SACCO Regulatory Authority of Kenya; Federation of Kenya; Nairobi Securities Exchange and Kenya Bankers Association.

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EAST AFRICA COMMUNITY ELECTRONIC TRANSACTION BILL – OUR VIEW

Electronic commerce will be one of the major driving forces of the 21st century, enhancing productivity and innovation; creating jobs and new markets; improving the quality of services in private and public sectors; and offering consumers greater choice.

Kenya and the East Africa Community share a vision for the development of a global information society, and recognize the need for an international environment, which supports the growth of electronic commerce, and maximizes social potential for citizens. In order to foster this environment, they will actively work in concert with the private sector, other governments, civil society and international organisations.

The EAC Electronic Transaction Bill makes provisions for the use, facilitation and regulation of electronic communication and transactions to encourage use of e-government services.

This joint vision is intended to promote the development of electronic commerce and the widespread adoption of new electronic service delivery approaches by governments by:

  • supporting and endorsing a shared vision and policy principles for the global environment which facilitates the growth of electronic commerce;
  • Committing to an action agenda between East Africa Communities with governments, businesses, and consumers in key areas of electronic commerce and e-government.

GOVERNMENTS’ CO-OPERATION

The East African Community should cooperate and collaborate in furthering the work of international organizations to create a positive environment for the growth of electronic commerce and e-government, based on:

  1. Building trust for users and consumers—ensuring safeguards to provide protection and increase confidence in the digital marketplace by addressing such issues as privacy, security, and consumer protection.
  2. Establishing transparent rules for the digital marketplace—ensuring that existing legal and commercial frameworks in areas such as contract law and intellectual property apply to electronic transmissions and enable the future growth of e-commerce and its social potential.
  3. Enhancing the information infrastructure—striving to ensure effective access, low cost and high quality information infrastructures and services for e-commerce and e-government by means of effective competition in public telecommunications networks and services.
  4. Maximizing the social and economic benefits—recognizing the role of governments in addressing the needs of business, including small and medium-sized enterprises and consumers.
  5. Promoting global participation—collaborative inclusion of the governments, the private sector, the wider community, and international organizations with the aims of maximizing the social and economic potential of electronic commerce and electronic service delivery across all economies and societies.

International co-operation among all countries will assist in the construction of a seamless global environment for electronic commerce and e-government and extend its benefits to all.

Consumer protection

The East African Community governments should support measures to promote consumer confidence in:

  • Electronic markets, including consumer trust marks and related alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Exchange information on national approaches, consumer concerns and private sector mechanisms;
  • Encourage and promote private sector mutual participation in:
    • National programmes for consumer protection developed on the basis of stakeholder collaboration (business, consumer groups, governments, and experts)
    • Related alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration.

 

The private sector and other businesses should lead in stimulating the growth of electronic commerce through investment and innovation in products and services.

It also has a key role, in partnership with governments and the wider community, to ensure that domestic and international business practices facilitate trust and consumer confidence.

The governments on the other hand have a key role to play in the growth of electronic commerce by acting as a ‘model user’ of information technology in its functions and also support private sector led initiatives.

The East African Community, governments should aim create a favorable environment for global electronic commerce and e-government, for both business and consumers, and to realize maximize potential for social, economic and community development. 

Mobile phone money payments platforms will need to be brought to focus.

Ownership and sharing of e-commerce infrastructure in the manner digital migration is organized need to be considered

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