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Government contemplates ICT authority

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The government is contemplating setting up an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) authority to oversee trends in the industry.

In an interview on the sidelines of the ICT Association of Malawi (Ictam) annual conference, Minister of Information Gospel Kazako said consultations on the proposal would commence soon.

“We do not have a proper authority to deal with matters of ICT. In the absence of that, a nation might not know its capabilities or deficiencies. We need to have a well-resourced authority that would be advising the government and provide the needed coordination,” Kazako said.

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Ictam President Bram Fudzulani said establishment of an ICT authority was very critical for industry growth.

He said the authority would allow for the development and enforcement of ICT standards and human capacity development in the public sector.

“The Malawi ICT Policy of 2013 recognises the role of Malawi Information Authority and mandates the agency with the role of implementing the national ICT Policy, facilitating ICT development and utilisation across all sectors— notably. rural community access, e-government—and among the business and private sector,” Fudzulani said.

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Giving a keynote address at the conference, renowned ICT expert and UbuntuNet Alliance Chief Executive Officer Mathews Mtumbuka, however, said setting up a new ICT authority was unnecessary and would drain the energy and resources that could be applied to transform ICT services in government.

“What we can do is to simply expand the role of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority to include regulation of IT in addition to what they do already,” Mtumbuka said

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