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Kenya: Bill on Robotics and AI society introduced to National Assembly

On November 29, 2023, the Speaker of the National Assembly announced that Fred Ondieki Sagwe, a representative of the Robotics Society of Kenya (RSK), had petitioned Parliament to enact the Kenya Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Society Bill 2023 (the Bill). In particular, the Bill seeks to establish the RSK as a professional body to regulate robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Robotics Society of Kenya

The Bill establishes the RSK comprised of six office bearers including, among others, a chairperson, vice-chairperson, organizing secretary, and treasurer. Under the Bill, the functions of the RSK shall be to:

  • regulate and promote the development of the robotics and AI industry;
  • develop and enforce robotics and AI industry standards and codes of practice in collaboration with relevant authorities;
  • carry out surveillance and inspections to ensure compliance with standards and legislation on robotics and AI; and
  • carry out research and advise the government on emerging AI and robotics trends.

Registration and licensing

Notably, the Bill requires any person or entity involved in the business of robotics or AI to be registered and licensed by the RSK after payment of a prescribed fee. For non-registration, the Bill imposes a fine of up to KES 1 million (approx. $6,500), a prison term of up to two years, or both.

The Speaker explained that the Bill would first be reviewed by the Public Petitions Committee which would then report its findings to the National Assembly.

You can read the press release here and the Bill here.