A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Cisco International Limited, Synacor Consortium Limited, a Cisco authorised channel partner, and the Kenyan Senate to confirm the parties’ efforts in accelerating the Senate’s digital transformation plans using the software ‘Legislate for Webex’. The world leading software developed by Irish software company Davra for global powerhouse Cisco will enable Kenyan legislators in the Senate to make remote collaboration even more effective and will provide an immersive window into the Senate floor.
The adoption of ‘Legislate for Webex’ by the Senate will be the latest in a series of forward-thinking technological solutions that the Senate has embedded to maximise efficiencies and aligned to the Kenyan Government’s national digitisation agenda.
With the Covid pandemic affecting legislatures around the globe, moving to virtual hearings and debates started becoming the new normal. ‘Legislate for Webex’ enabled legislatures to convene safely and securely and provided governing continuity to legislative and parliamentary bodies around the globe. The software platform delivers the following to global legislatures:
▪ Highly visible, contextual participant controls, such as crystal-clear mute, raise-hand and voting buttons;
▪ An information board and agenda so participants can follow the process;
▪ Secure, clear voting, with vote details, timer, in-vote tallies by party, votes by name, and anonymous voting when needed. Voting captures the experience of a physical vote board online;
▪ Sidebar video discussion rooms, for parties, members and staff to confer in complete privacy;
▪ Live interpretation and closed captioning to make sure everyone is included and understands what is being said.
Davra and Synacor Consortium Limited will be responsible for the installation and training of the Senate members on the ‘Legislate for Webex’ platform.
The MoU was signed at an event held at The Trademark Hotel in Nairobi by Senate Majority Leader Samuel Losuron Poghisio, Sally Kimeu, Cisco’s Country Leader and Regional Manager for its East Africa operations and Kevin Mugambi, Chief Operating Officer of Synacor Consortium Limited. Also in attendance to observe the MoU signing was Ireland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney T.D along with Kennedy Musyoka Kalonzo, member of the fourth East African Legislative Assembly, and Fionnuala Quinlan, Ambassador of Ireland to Kenya.
Observing the MoU signing as part of his visit to Kenya, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney T.D. said, “This partnership between the Kenyan Senate and Dublin-based Davra with their partner Cisco shows what can happen when Irish and Kenyan innovation comes together. This Irish technology will help Kenyan politicians carry out of their roles as legislators. This contract is another example of Kenya’s strategic positioning as the commercial hub of East Africa.”
Brian McGlynn, Chief Operating Officer of Davra said, “We are proud to support the Kenyan Senate to be able to effectively conduct their important work through ‘Legislate for Webex’ developed by Davra for Cisco. This world leading software platform is being adopted by legislatures around the world, especially with the backdrop of the global pandemic. This MoU with the Senate marks the first export to Kenya for Davra and further widens our footprint across Africa”.
Sally Kimeu, Cisco’s Country Leader and Regional Manager for its East Africa operations, said, “I’m honored to be a part of this monumental engagement for Kenya. Indeed, what CAN be delivered digitally MUST be delivered digitally. At Cisco, we see the Lawmaker’s Future of Work as ‘Legislate for Webex’; a one-of-a-kind meetings solution, purpose-built for the needs of legislatures around the globe, at every level of government.”
Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government’s trade and innovation agency played an active role in supporting Davra which led to the MoU with the Kenyan Senate being signed. Irish innovation continues to be in demand across Africa which has witnessed exports well over €500 million (Euros) and in Kenya alone, has seen impressive growth of 7 percent in 2019.