The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has published a draft of the “Framework for Emerging Technologies Regulatory Sandbox” and is seeking feedback from the public by February 3, 2023.
The CAK has the responsibility of establishing and reviewing regulations that guide ICT and new technologies, but it has realised that current regulations cannot adequately cater for emerging technologies such as those in fintech, cybersecurity, and other sectors.
The sandbox is an evidence-based, controlled environment in which such fintech start-ups and other innovators can conduct live tests of new services and products that do not easily fit in the current regulatory framework.
The Sandbox Framework therefore aims to provide regulators with the understanding they need to encourage innovation, growth, and healthy competition in the ICT sector.
The sandbox framework can reduce delays in licensing start-ups due to regulatory uncertainty by one-third.
By removing regulatory uncertainty, it can also increase access to financing, lead to more solutions potentially being introduced to the market, contain the impact of failure on consumers and the innovator, and provide incubatory acceleration for the start-ups.
However, the Sandbox framework isn’t a novel idea. It has been adopted in several ways in African countries like Mauritius, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Mozambique. Even in Kenya, some regulatory authorities have embraced the use of regulatory sandboxes, specifically in the financial sector.
In Ghana, the Bank of Ghana launched a Regulatory Sandbox last year and it has just invited applicants to submit their innovations between February 13 and March 14, 2023 for the admission of the first cohort of participants.
The CAK is inviting Kenyans who have comments on the proposed guidelines to send them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 3, 2023.