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Uhuru signs data protection law

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Uhuru signs data protection law in law FILE PHOTO | NMG

President Uhuru Kenyatta today signed the Data Protection Act 2019 and met with executives from Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a separate meeting.

AWS is a company of the American e-commerce giant Amazon, which offers cloud computing services.

The new Data Law establishes the Office of the Data Controller and sets out the requirements for the protection of personal data processed by both public and private entities.

It also outlines the main data-processing principles, sets the rights of data subjects and assigns responsibilities to controllers and to data processors.

In addition to establishing the conditions for the transfer of personal data outside Kenya, the law provides for exceptions to the processing of data and outlines data offenses and related penalties.


The bill was presented to the President by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, in the State House of Nairobi for signing.

Also present were the Majority Leader of the National Assembly, Aden Duale, the Public Service Chief, Joseph Kinyua, ICT CS, Joe Mucheru, Attorney General, Paul Kihara and State House Deputy Chief of Staff, Njee Muturi.

The President's meeting with Amazon Web Services executives led by Vice President Teresa Carlson was a continuation of a discussion the Head of State had with the group during its official visit to Washington last year.

During the meeting, AWS Vice President welcomed Kenya for the adoption of the new Data Law and informed them about Amazon's plans to establish an "edge location" in Nairobi.

At an edge location, end users access services that reside in Amazon Web Services.

Ms. Carlson said the new data law paves the way for the organization's investment, which will allow Nairobi to join other global cities as a peripheral location.

President Kenyatta welcomed AWS's establishment of a peripheral location in the country and assured that Kenya had the necessary infrastructure and educated young people to benefit from business opportunities and new jobs.

"I am very excited about AWS's investment in Kenya. With the introduction of Amazon CloudFront, we are at the forefront of accelerated innovation. That's how startups, businesses and government agencies can focus on delivering the best possible user experience, "said the president.

He added, "Kenya is an innovator of digital financial services in Africa. An advanced cloud infrastructure in the country will support our ability to flourish as a nation and tap into our potential as one of Africa's fastest growing digital economies.

The head of state noted that Amazon's investment will help strengthen Kenya's position as a country's regional business location.

"This is the key for us, especially now that we digitize almost everything. We're building the digital infrastructure and we're excited about any support we can get from you, "the president told the Amazon team.

Ms. Carlson said her organization will also provide training in digital skills and help create quality jobs for young people in Kenya.

The AWS cloud platform offers millions of customer-featured services, including the fastest-growing startups, the largest companies, and leading government agencies.

The benefits of the AWS-powered edge site include providing businesses and web application developers with an easy and cost-effective way to distribute low-latency and high-speed data stored in Kenya to thousands of users.

The service provides businesses with fast and reliable access to their information, improving the quality of the Internet for the end user and reducing the cost of data transmission.

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