Malawians to shape new e-laws

GOVERNMENT

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Malawians to shape new e-laws

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

The government of Malawi is seeking input from individuals and institutions on the recently completed draft of Malawi’s first ever electronic legislation.

The office of President and Cabinet have announced that with the draft in place, Malawi will align its development agenda with a legally supported ICT platform. 

The government seeks to achieve this through the Privatisation Commission, a government unit implementing the ‘Regional Communication Infrastructure Program – Malawi project’ with funding from World Bank.

The government says the main objective of the project is to improve quality, availability, affordability and utilisation of broadband internet in Malawi wherein one of its sub-components is the drafting of an electronic legislation.

With the electronic legislation in place, the government says it expects to create adequate, enabling and favourable environment for information and Communication Technology (ICT) users.

It also hopes to provide legal foundation that will address internet-specific issues and challenges as well as protecting the public from cyber crime.

The legislation will also guide in maintaining a secure space where data and intangible money could be stored, shared and legally and securely transferred.

Government hopes this piece of legislation will address treatment of electronic evidence and develop information society.

The draft legislation has 62 sections that deal with ten major areas, including legal recognition of electronic messages, which does not exist as such in the current legal framework in the country.

Whereas this is a condition to the development of electronic transactions in the country, the draft bill says any written document and any signature should be possibly created and stored in an electronic manner.  

The draft also states that the electronic documents should have the same legal probative force as paper documents.  

The second part of the draft bills looks at proceedings applicable to the conclusion of electronic contracts where it spells out that rules regulating the conclusion of contracts need to be specified and clarified in order to ensure security with respect to electronic transactions.

The third part dwells on the legal responsibility of various actors with respect to the Internet, as it is the case regarding television, radio, or written press, the freedom of speech should be limited by certain principles of public order. 

The bill defines precisely the responsibility of technical service providers and editors of online contents.

The fourth part looks at consumer protection with respect to e-commerce. 

“Online purchase of services or goods requires the adoption of specific provisions in addition to classical consumer rules,” observes this part of the draft bill. 

Consequently, the bills say it provides for specific obligations lying on professionals regarding the display of information and online advertising.

The fifth part of the draft bill is on taxation where the bill details the circumstances under which value added tax and customs fees can apply to e-transactions.

Online financial services are the sixth part that looks at the importance and the specificity of the risks.

The bill looks at these services which it says have driven the government to introduce very strict provisions regulating the online provision of financial and banking services.

The part of Encryption has also been included in the bill to deal with specific provisions ensuring the security of digital economy. 

In this aspect the bills provides for the legal framework regulating encryption in conformity with international best practices.

The eighth part on cyber criminality sets out the principles for combating crimes in the e-environment and establishes a dedicated institution, the Malawi CERT, to fight against cyber threats and attacks.

On data protection, the bill provides for specific provisions in order to regulate online collection of personal information regarding users and imposing systematic information on the purposes of the data processing and the rights of the data subject.

E-Government also falls under the draft legislation, focusing on government's obligation to promote the development of online public services and facilitate the use of ICT in the Republic of Malawi.

The introductory remarks of the E-bill draft observe that development of the information society has originated considerable progresses in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector.

The bill observes that most significant steps of these changes are networks digitalization, components miniaturization and more recently the development of the Internet and mobile telephones. 

The bill says Malawi is convinced that its predominantly agro-based economy can rapidly grow and diversify through participation in the information society. 

“In order to fully benefit from the information revolution, the Republic of Malawi needs to modernize various sectors of its economy using ICT,” the bill says. 

The main objective of the bill, says the Government, is to allow the country to benefit from a true technological leap which may fasten its economic growth by enabling the development of new economic activities thanks to the implementation of a secure legal framework regulating the use of ICT. 

It observes though that the country’s current legal framework does not provide economic actors and citizens with a secure and reliable legal environment which is however essential to the development of electronic transactions.

“Consequently, the Malawian Government wishes to enact a bill which will enable the development of the information society in the Republic of Malawi within a legal framework,” the draft bill declares. 

It says whenever possible, current legal and regulatory texts shall remain applicable to situations involving ICT but nevertheless, have created new legal issues which require specific legal answers.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

Search News

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Lawmakers want TSA investigated

Nigeria’s lower house, the House of Representatives, is making moves to investigate how much has come into the Treasury Single Account (TSA). Read More

BVN fished out 40,000 ghost workers

Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment says the Bank Verification Number introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria has saved the Federal Government billions of naira. Read More

Kenya embraces online motor vehicle registration to fight corruption

In a bid to weed out corruption and increase efficiency in the road transport sector, the Kenyan government is set to unveil online vehicle registration. Read More

Botswana Post opens new money transfer corridors

BotswanaPost says it has launched another two money transfer routes – to Lesotho Postal Services and Swaziland Postal Services.   Read More

International Conference on the Internet on in Gaborone

The University of Botswana is hosting the First International Conference on the Internet, Cyber Security and Information Systems in Gaborone to the 20th May 2016 at The Gaborone International Convention Center (GICC).  Read More

Again, NCC’s 2.6GHz spectrum auctions fall through

The planned 2.6 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction scheduled by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may have fallen through. Read More

Government rules out OTT regulation in Ghana

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Communication, Ato Sarpong, has told key industry players in Accra that the government has no intention of regulating over-the-top operations in the country.  Read More

Rwanda, MasterCard collaborate on cashless society

The Government of Rwanda has announced a collaboration with MasterCard to fast-track the country’s move to include 90 percent of its citizens in the financial mainstream. Read More

Mobile spam: NCC reads riot act to telcos

Worried by a flurry of complaints, the Nigerian Communications Commission has warned mobile network operators to take decisive action to curb unsolicited text messages and calls to customers. Read More

NCC chief urges Fed Govt to relax forex policy

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged the Federal Government to consider relaxing its forex policy for telecommunications companies. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage EnterpriseSAP AfricaTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks UnlimitedArbor NetworksEricssonTigo Ghana

FEATURED STORY

Government should encourage youths in ICT earlyGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early

Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.

Advertisement

IN DEPTH

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South AfricaIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa

IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.  

COMPANY NEWS

Tigo, JI and GES equip teachers on child online protection initiative

Tigo, in partnership with J Initiative (JI), a youth focused non-governmental organisation in Ghana, have committed to protecting children online through policy advocacy, awareness creation, public education ...