Representatives of the ICT Association of Malawi (Ictam) have revealed that drafting of a bill that seeks to have the body recognised in the Communications Act are at an advanced stage and expected to be presented to Parliament soon.
In an interview, President of the association, Bram Fudzulani, said the initiative is meat to help it enforce professional code of conduct and ethics within the industry.
“There is that conversation that is happening right now to have the bill presented to Parliament and then hopefully, Parliament will approve the bill so we do not want to stop innovations because ICT is broad but we will have clear guidelines moving forward,” Fudzulani said.
He said the association is planning to focus on following up the Data Protection Act in the New Year, especially providing civic education to Members of Parliament (MP) to have a healthy discussion as they discuss the issue.
“We would like to take a leading role in mobilising the civil society organisations to understand the importance of this bill as well as the Media Committee of Parliament. We have realised that most of these bills when they come to Parliament there is little knowledge among the MPs so they do not comment on them,” Fudzulani said.
In outlining the vision of the association in 2020, he said they will continue voicing out growing concern on the issue of the price of the internet in Malawi but also the emerging issue of the expiry of internet data.
He added that 2019 marked four years of the association’s annual ICT Innovations Forum and was the year they made a landmark partnership with the National Bank of Malawi plc as the official sponsor for the programme for the next four years.
“Our aim remains promoting innovation and entrepreneurship but also encourage data collection. With the drafting of the data protection bill we will also be advocating for the sharing of data amongst entrepreneurs to help them develop better business plans as well as looking into tax policies, startup financing,” he said.