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Kenya: govt approves Safaricom's security contract

Kenya: govt approves Safaricom's security contract.

Mobile operator receives official go-ahead on $170 million security project.

The Kenyan government has officially granted permission for the planned roll out of a national surveillance system to be put up by the country's leading mobile network, Safaricom. The $170 million network will see CCTV cameras fitted in Mombasa and Nairobi with command stations for monitoring.

After being given clean bills by the national assembly committee in charge of security, the project is now on the go with an official agreement signed by the ministry of interior and coordination of national government and Safaricom.

"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," Amb (Dr.) Monica Juma, Principal Secretary, Interior said.

Since the national security committee at the national assembly gave the deal a clean bill of health, Safaricom has reportedly been working on the system, the first phase of which is expected in December this year.

"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." Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore said.

Under the agreement Safaricom will manage the system for the next five years and then hand it over to the National Police Service.

The agreement comes at a time the government is under pressure over weakening national security, with the Mandera Bus Attack being the latest thorn in the government's side. Al Shabaab butchered 28 people north of Kenya despite there being intelligence of the impending attack.


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