[Press Release] Kenya Government Green Lights Safaricom’s National Security Communication Network
The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government today signed a landmark agreement with Safaricom that will see the roll out of a first-of-its-kind National Surveillance, Communication and Control System, for Nairobi and Mombasa.
The contract signing ceremony for the agreement took place today at Harambee House and was attended by Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Joseph Ole Lenku; Amb (Dr.) Monica Juma, Principal Secretary, Interior, Dr. Kamau Thugge, Principal Secretary, National Treasury; David Kimaiyo, Inspector General and Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO.
The development effectively means that Safaricom can now embark on the process of building the secure communications and surveillance network. The solution will also include the installation of cameras in the two cities to provide real-time footage to the National Police Operations Centre.
The Cabinet Secretary Mr. Lenku said the secure communications and surveillance project would greatly enhance security in the country by providing security agents with the capability to monitor and deter crime.
“In July, the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security approved the award of the project to Safaricom, setting the stage for today’s announcement. We believe that the level of scrutiny provided over the last five months by the National Assembly and Public Procurement Oversight Authority, among others, is sufficient. We are keen to see the project go live as soon as possible,” said Amb. Juma.
On his part, Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore indicated that this was a pioneering achievement, not just for Kenya, but also for Africa. “Over the next 18 months, Safaricom will build an intelligent solution that harnesses the power of technology to enable law enforcement officers effectively coordinate and deploy their resources in response to threats to national security and, indeed, emergency situations requiring the interplay of competencies from the National Police Service and various disaster response teams.” Upon completion, the system will be operated by the National Police Service under the expertise of a core project team comprising senior officers from the National Police Service and communications experts.
The project gets underway following the receipt of all relevant approvals required to complete the installation and management of a communication and surveillance system to help combat crime.
Under the terms of the 5 year agreement, Safaricom will undertake the completion of the KSh14.9 billion project (exclusive of taxes) at its cost and thereafter hand over the operations of the system to the National Police Service. As part of the agreed terms, the Government will enjoy the use of the service at no cost for the first year of its operation and the Government will only start paying for the solution through a series of annual installments commencing in 2016.