The new ICT policy, which has taken over four years to compile will soon be presented to Cabinet, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has said. Speaking to TechnoMag in a YouTube video interview, the minister said the ICT policy was high priority as the industry needs serious regulation to address a number of anomalies.
“What we are working on right now is that by end of March, I should have taken the revised ICT policy to Cabinet for discussion and hopefully adoption,” said Minister Mandiwanzira
He added that, in a dynamic industry and country where ICTs are rapidly growing, there is an urgent need to unveil a cyber Bill to curb high rates of cybercrime; hence an urgent need for a legal framework to deal with this as it is one of the urgent priorities.
Zimbabwe first launched its National ICT Policy Framework in 2007, but the document was overtaken by developments in the fast-growing sector.
The National ICT Policy is expected to provide for the establishment of national information and communication technology authority, national information and communication technology converged regulator and e-government, among other things,.
Soon after the policy was reviewed, it was submitted for validation which took place a few weeks after the inception of the revised document.
The validation stage involved the corroboration of information, which was gathered during the outreach programme with the information contained in the original draft.
The then ICT minister, Nelson Chamisa, highlighted that the policy was crucial, as it would buttress the country’s achievements in ICT’s.
It is also noted that the ICT growth, during that time, had been largely driven by the high mobile penetration rate which skyrocketed from 19 percent to 79 percent.
Last year there was another review of the ICT policy in the form of consultations from ICT stakeholders. The exercise was necessary to ensure that the policies that govern our sector are current and also be able to respond to national needs and challenges.
The consultative process managed to deliberate on issues such as ICT governance, e-government, ICT access, utilisation and ICT infrastructure.
Heated debates arose on how mobile service providers can share infrastructure.
The current ICT policy that the country is using was crafted 10 years ago and is no longer in touch with technological developments in Zimbabwe.
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