Covid-19: Free Microsoft tech to keep Kenya courts productive

Apr 27, 2020

Kenya courts

Microsoft is giving Kenya courts six months free access to its Office 365 collaboration platform dubbed Teams as social distancing rules take root in the wake of Covid-19.

Open court sessions are suspended to limit exposure to the virus. Kenya courts are therefore relying on technology to continue operations and avoid backlogs.

Chief Justice David Maraga notes the court’s activities involve an extensive exchange of paperwork which risks the spread of the virus.

While it is prudent to upscale court activities it will not be wise to have open court sessions at this time. This doesn’t mean the courts have closed down, court operations have never and will never be closed.
The proceedings can only be conducted remotely through increased use of technology. Except in exceptional circumstances, all pleadings are being filed and served electronically.
All other matters including the delivery of judgements shall be handled through video conferencing or email.
I want to announce Microsoft has donated the application of Microsoft Teams for use for six months free of charge.

David Maraga, Chief Justice Kenya

Digital transformation is therefore inevitable in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

software has a huge role to play

Free tools

Global pandemic Covid-19 has changed the way most people work. Governments are issuing lockdowns, curfews, cessation of movements and restricting the number of individuals at gatherings to curb the spread of the deadly virus. This has compelled businesses and organizations including courts to rethink their work model.

Technology companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Zoom and Google have stepped in to help companies wade uncertain times as they seek to stay afloat. Most of the tech firms are offering video conferencing, remote and team collaboration tools free of charge during this period. Microsoft announced it is making Teams – which comes bundled in Office 365 – free for everyone.

“During this extraordinary time, it is clear that software, has a huge role to play across every industry and around the world“, notes Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. Speaking about the company’s unique role as a platform and tools provider during this global pandemic. 

In trying to meet global demand, Microsoft recently introduced new features in Teams. These include offline connectivity, low-bandwidth connection, real-time noise suppression, etc..

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