Kenya pushes for adoption of digital signatures


Digital signature

from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Bureau
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA is intensifying a drive to license electronic certification service providers (ECSPs) in an effort to enhance the adoption of digital signature technology.

The eventual adoption is anticipated to strengthen the East African country’s digital economy.

Government officials disclosed this at the two-day National Public Key Infrastructure (NPKI) Forum that kicked off on Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi.

Managed by the Communications Authority (CA), NPKI comprises a hierarchy of certifying authorities that issue and manage digital certificates, which are used to verify the identity of individuals or entities and establish trust in online transactions.

The Root Certification Authority is the top level of the hierarchy and is responsible for issuing certificates to other certification authorities, namely the second-level Certification Authorities and third-level Registration Authorities.

“The NPKI combines regulatory framework and technology to facilitate the rollout of digital certification services in the country, which we have achieved by deploying the Root Certification Authority,” said David Mugonyi, the Director General of the CA.

Mugonyi said currently, there were four licensed ECSPs in the country, while nine others are in the licensing process.

“We look forward to increased uptake of these licences,” Mugonyi told delegates.

“We are now licensing ECSPs to deliver digital certification services to application developers and consumers including businesses and individuals.”

Edward Waswa Kisiang’ani, the Permanent Secretary at the State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications, welcomed the licensing of more players in the ECPS space.

“The reality of digital signatures fostering secure online transactions is a promise we shall continue to pursue to ensure we leverage this frontier to power our digital economy,” he said.

“With world-class digital certification services, consumers can verify the integrity of documents signed electronically, as well as the identity of the sender, making public and private digital services more efficient and reliable,” Kisiang’ani.

Digital certificates are used to validate the identity of the sender, and digital signatures are used to validate the sent data.

– CAJ News

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