Communications Commission of Kenya

Communications Commission of Kenya
Communications Commission of Kenya
Agency overview
Formed 1998
Jurisdiction Government of Kenya
Headquarters Nairobi
Agency executives Hon. Eng. Philip O Okundi, Chairman
Charles J.K. Njoroge, CEO
Parent agency National Communications Secretariat (NCS)


Introduction and Overview

Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is a state owned corporation that is responsible for ensuring fair play in the airwaves. It is the independent regulatory authority for the communications industry in Kenya. Its role is to license and regulate telecommunications, radiocommunication and postal/courier services in Kenya. It also issues licenses to ISP's Internet Service Providers as well as other communication devices that go beyond unlicensed frequencies. It is responsible for developing and co-coordinating the policies and strategies with respect to development and operation of telecommunications services in Kenya.

It was established in February 1999, when the Kenya Post & Telecommunication Corporation (KP&TC), was split into CCK, the Postal Corporation of Kenya (CCK) and Telkom Kenya [1].

The Kenya Communications Act No. 2 of 1998 unbundled the Kenya Postal and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) into five separate entities: the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), which is the regulator; the National Communications Secretariat (NCS), which serves as the policy advisory arm of the government on all matters pertaining to the information and communications sector; the fixed-line operator, Telkom; the Postal Corporation of Kenya (POSTA); and a Communications Appeals Tribunal.[2]

In recognition of the rapid changes and developments in technology which have blurred the traditional distinctions between telecommunications, Information Technology (IT) and broadcasting, the Government in January 2009 enacted the Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act 2009. This statute enhanced the regulatory scope and jurisdiction of CCK, and effectively transformed it to a converged regulator.[3]

Kenya-CIA WFB Map.png

Mandate and Purpose

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) purpose is to facilitate the development of the information and communications sectors (including broadcasting, multimedia, telecommunications and postal services) and electronic commerce through proper regulations. It derives its mandate from the following pieces of legislation:

  • Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998 (No. 2 of 1998)
  • Kenya Communications (Amendment) Act of 2009

The following are some of CCK’s mandates:

  • Provide a regulatory framework for the promotion of fair competition and equal treatment in the communications sector
  • Protecting against the abuse of market power or other anti-competitive practices within the communications sector.
  • Provide for the standards and procedures to be applied by the Commission in determining whether particular conduct is anti-competitive
  • Clarify the agreements, conduct or practices that the Commission shall consider to be anti-competitive, and prohibited under the Act
  • Provide for the standards and processes that the Commission shall apply when determining whether a telecommunication service provider is dominant in a given market. (

The following are some of functions of the CCK:

  • Licensing all systems and services in the communications industry, including telecommunications, postal/courier and broadcasting.
  • Managing the country’s frequency spectrum and numbering resources.
  • Facilitating the development of e-commerce.
  • Type approving/accepting communications equipment meant for use in the country.
  • Protecting consumer rights within the communications environment.
  • Managing competition in the sector to ensure a level playing ground for all players.
  • Regulating retail and wholesale tariffs for communications services.
  • Managing the Universal Access Fund.
  • Monitoring the activities of licensees to enforce compliance with the licence terms and conditions as well as the law.

Below are some of the relevant sector regulations:

  • Kenya Information and Communications (Fair Competition and Equality of Treatment) Regulations, 2010
  • Kenya Information and Communication (Dispute Resolution) Regulations, 2010
  • Kenya Information and Communications (Interconnection and Provision of Fixed Links, Access and Facilities) Regulations, 2010
  • Kenya Information and Communication (Tariff) Regulations, 2010
  • The Kenya Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations, 2009
  • The Kenya Communications Regulations, 2001 [4]

Affiliated International Bodies

  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO)
  • African Telecommunications Union (ATU)
  • Universal Postal Union (UPU)
  • Pan African Postal Union (PAPU)
  • Association of Regulators of Information and Communication in Eastern Africa (ARICEA)
  • African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (AFRALTI)


The 1963 Kenya’s independence transformed the colonial laws and policy development towards telecommunications, broadcasting and the media.

In 1997, the first policy guideline specific to telecommunications and postal sector liberalisation was issued based on the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (2003–2007). This policy guideline was developed by the Kenya Posts and Telecommunication Corporation (KP&TC) and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It set out the role of the sector in national development, stated the policy objectives and identified targets as well as strategies to be pursued. The desired market structure for liberalisation was also articulated in the policy. This policy guideline led to the transformation of the telecommunications and postal sector, the creation of the Kenya Communications Act (KCA, 1998) and the Postal Corporation Act (1998).

Prior to 1998, the KP&TC was the sole provider of basic telecommunications services. Telkom Kenya was created in 1999 as a separate legal entity from the previous postal and telecommunications statutory body and is slated for privatisation.

The proliferation of mass media, economic demands and pressure from donors as well as civil society forced the government to review the laws governing the media with a view to liberalizing the airwaves, abolishing of restrictive media laws, and harmonisation of Kenya Post and Telecommunication Act and Kenya Broadcasting Acts. (Mureithi, 2002)

Initially the government split KP&TC into two entities through the Kenya Communication Bill (1997) and the Postal Corporation Bill (April, 1997). However Kenyan government created the telecommunication regulator at the same time that the telecommunications and postal arms of the PTT ministry were spun off as separate operating entities through the Kenya Communications Act of 1998. This move led to the dismantled of KP&TC into the Communication Commission of Kenya, Telkom Kenya Limited and Postal Corporation of Kenya as well as the formation of to serve as the policy advisory arm of the Government on all matters pertaining to the ICT. National Communications Secretariat was also formed under the Kenya.

In 2000, the Ministry of Information, Transport and Communications prepared a cabinet paper on broadcasting with the status of a sector policy statement. Following that, in 2001 the ministry prepared a draft broadcasting bill and broadcasting policy, however the 2 documents never got approved by parliament.

In 2004 the Ministry of Information and Communications published the draft national ICT policy aimed at creating an enabled and knowledge based society by using ICTs to improve the livelihoods of Kenyans.[5]

Structure and Functions

Cck structure.jpg

Adopted from:

Directors & Councillors’

  • Hon. Eng. Philip O. Okundi- chairman of the CCK Board of Directors.
  • Mr. Charles J.K. Njoroge- Director - General and CEO of the CCK.
  • Dr. Bitange Ndemo
  • Dr. Bitange Ndemo
  • Francis Kimemia
  • Joseph Kanja Kinyua
  • Mr. Joseph K. Kinyua
  • Alice Wanjira-Munyua
  • Ms Eunice Maranya-Ombati
  • Kariithi Njogu r
  • Mr. Joe Kamau.
  • Matei Mulili Ndeti


  • Licensing, Compliance and Standards
  • Frequency Spectrum Management
  • Competition, Tariffs and Market Analysis
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Human Resources & Administration
  • Finance & Accounts


  • Communication and Public Relations
  • Information Technology
  • Procurement
  • Internal Audit Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Telecommunications licensing
  • Effective competition
  • Consumer protection
  • Promotion of investment and provision of international transit services
  • Universal Service Obligations
  • Tariff Regulation
  • Frequency Spectrum
  • Broadcasting
  • Electronic transactions
  • Numbering
  • Type Approval
  • Postal and Courier

International Affiliation of the regulator to international institutions

The Kenya Communications Act, 1998, outlines the functions of the Commission in relation to postal services as follows:

  • ensure that there are provided throughout Kenya good and sufficient postal and other related services, on such terms as the Commission may deem expedient;
  • ensure that the public post licensee is able to provide postal services at rates consistent with efficient and continuous service and financing viability;
  • promote development of postal systems and services in accordance with recognized international standards, practices and public demand;
  • exercise licensing and regulatory functions in respect of postal systems and services in Kenya in accordance with this Act;

CCK Strengths

  • Through the licensing of 30 ISPs Kenya has one largest Internet sectors in Africa. The Internet is available in Universities, Internet Cafes, community information centers, public libraries, etc
  • Since its inception CCK liberalized the telecommunication sector as a whole and there are private companies entering the market. Currently, there are four private telecommunications companies, Safaricom, Celtel (K) Ltd, Telkom Kenya (Orange), and Econet Kenya (YU is their brand name). This eventuality increased telephone penetration dramatically.
  • CCK (on behalf of Kenya) hosts the African Advanced Level Telecommunication Institute (AFRALTI), an intergovernmental International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Anglophone sub-regional training centre.
  • In 2009 Kenyan mobile operators launched a mobile banking service. Safaricom launched M-Pesa service and Zain also launched its ZAP mobile money service and, YU launched its yuCash mobile money offering which is based on the global Obopay service. This was seen as shift for the ultimate move to drive ecommerce in Kenya.


CCK Weaknesses/Controversies

  • Kenya Information and Communication Fair competition and equality treat regulations of 2010 and the Tariff regulations 2010 issued by the minister for Information and Communication.
  • CCK’s proposal to regulate the tariffs of the dominant operator, and their failure to define what dominance is and in what market segments. The dominant operator is up in arms and has threatened to go to court whereas the other 3 smaller operators celebrated the unveiling of these regulations.” The Government has said they would review the regulations to define dominance. This is a case of bad policy. Safaricom says they are going to be punished for being successful and innovative and that they are not responsible for the fate of their competitors who the regulations are being drafted to ‘help’ gain market share”.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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