162021Feb
Technology Media And Telecommunications Africa Quarterly E Bulletin

Technology Media And Telecommunications Africa Quarterly E Bulletin

This e-bulletin highlights key legislative and regulatory developments in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.  This issue covers the period 16 October 2020 to 15 January 2021 includes developments from Botswana, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Botswana

Type Approval Verification (SIM Enabled Devices) Guidelines Workshop

On 6 November 2020, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) sent an invitation letter to all ICT Stakeholders of its Type Approval Verification (SIM Enabled Devices) Guidelines workshop to be held on 19 November 2020.  The following documents were also included: the Draft Type Approval Verification (SIM Enabled Devices) Guidelines, 2020; Combating Non-Compliant Devices Type Approval (SIM Enabled Devices) Verification Consultative Paper and Feedback Questions form.  Comments on the Draft Guidelines, Consultation Paper and Feedback Questions were due by 16 November 2020.

Draft Guidelines on Minimum Broadband Internet and ICT Requirements for Public Internet Access Centres and Schools Offering Basic Education

On 10 November 2020, BOCRA published an Invitation to provide input to the Draft Guidelines on Minimum Broadband Internet and ICT Requirements for Public Internet Access Centres (PIACs) and Schools Offering Basic Education.  BOCRA developed the Guidelines in line with the 2019 Quality of Service and Quality of Experience Guidelines as well as the 2018 National Broadband Strategy, which requires BOCRA to develop and implement broadband guidelines for different sectors of the economy to improve the quality of service.  They aim to improve Internet connectivity and quality of ICT services in schools and PIACs across the country.  The Guidelines are also aligned to international best standards for ICT and Internet connectivity. The deadline for submissions was 26 November 2020.

Ethiopia

Tender Notice: Request for Proposals for Two Telecommunications Licenses

On 27 November 2020, the Ethiopia Communications Authority (ECA) published a Tender Notice regarding the Request for Proposals for Two Telecommunications Licenses.  All details and instructions pertaining to the submission of proposals, including the qualification criteria and conditions for eligibility to participate, were described in the Request for Proposals, and anyone who was interested in receiving the Request for Proposals, had to request a copy via e-mail before 10 December 2020. The deadline for applications is 5 March 2021.

Gambia

Draft Universal Access and Service Policy, 2020

On 21 October 2020, the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure of Gambia published the Draft Universal Access and Service Policy 2020 for public comment.  It seeks to achieve universal access and universal service for the information and communication sector throughout all regions and communities of Gambia, and to achieve a universal service penetration of 100% of the total population to broadband within 3 years.  A particular focus is set on e-inclusion and digital participation. The deadline for comments was 23 October 2020.

Ghana

Mobile Network Quality of Service Monitoring Results for the Third Quarter of 2020

On 22 October 2020, the National Communications Authority (NCA) published the Mobile Network Quality of Service Monitoring Results for the Third Quarter of 2020. They set out a summary of the performance of each Mobile Network Operator from 29 June 2020 to 29 July, 2020.

Report on Household Survey on ICT in Ghana

On 30 October 2020, the NCA released the Report on the Household Survey on Information Communications Technology (ICT) in Ghana. Conducted in June 2019, through a collaborative effort between the NCA and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the Survey measured Ghana’s ICT development based on ICT Access, Usage, Skills and Digital Divide.  The survey covered 5,946 households from all regions of the country and focussed on individual ownership and usage of mobile phones, SIM cards and computers, Internet access and usage; mobile money, bundling, households ownership and usage of ICT products and services.

Kenya

Draft National Spectrum Policy

On 22 October 2020, the Minister of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs published the Draft National Spectrum Policy for public consultation.  This Policy is aimed at ensuring that the radio frequency spectrum will be managed in line with public policy objectives, with a view to making it available to all users under specific and clear conditions. The overarching objective is to ensure efficient use of frequency spectrum while maintaining a balance between the public and private interests.  Substantive comments with specific proposals for amendments to the Draft Policy were due by 16 November 2020.

Draft National Film Policy and Draft Kenya Film Bill, 2020

On 8 December 2020, the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs published the Draft National Film Policy and Draft Kenya Film Bill, 2020 for public comment. They are aimed at streamlining the film industry’s institutional and regulatory framework. The deadline for submissions was 24 December 2020.

Frequency Spectrum Management Guidelines, 2020

On 28 October 2020, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) published the Response to Stakeholder Comments on the Frequency Spectrum Management Guidelines, as well as the final Frequency Spectrum Management Guidelines 2020.   These Guidelines establish a framework for management of the radio frequency spectrum.

Proposed Guidelines for Broadcasting Services

On 25 November 2020, the CA published a Consultation Paper on the Proposed Guidelines for Broadcasting Services in Kenya.  The proposed Guidelines, namely the Guidelines on Children’s Programming, Guidelines on Local Content and Guidelines on Niche Programming, are aimed at expounding on the provisions of the Programming Code which was gazetted on 12 April 2019. The deadline for comments was 15 January 2021.

Proposed Media Practitioners Code of Conduct and Proposed Accreditation and Subscription Fees, 2020

On 20 November 2020, the Media Council of Kenya issued a Public Notice inviting comments on the Proposed Media Practitioners Code of Conduct and Proposed Accreditation and Subscription Fees, 2020.  The deadline for comments was 10 December 2020.

Draft Guidelines on Access to Personal Information Data during Covid-19 Pandemic

On 12 January 2021, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner published an invitation for public comments on the Draft Guidelines on Access to Personal Data during the Covid-19 Pandemic.  The expected outcome after the consultation is that the public and private sector would have policy guidance on processing personal data of individuals to actualize responses to, and research on, the pandemic, including data requests by innovators and researchers, to give effect to the right to privacy as it relates to the protection of personal information.  Comments are due by 10 February 2021.

Lesotho

Promulgation of Lesotho Communications Authority (Administrative) (Amendment) Rules, 2020

On 3 November 2020, the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) announced the Promulgation of the Lesotho Communications Authority (Administrative) (Amendment) Rules, 2020.  These Rules amend Rule 3(2) by removing the requirement for application by prior invitation and introduces application for all licenses on a first come first served basis in accordance with the directive of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Lesotho dated 11 November 2019.  The impact of these Rules is that any prospective applicant can submit an application that meets the prescribed requirements together with payment of application fees to obtain a unified license and operate in Lesotho.

Mauritius

Directions for Private and Public Broadcasters – Village Council Elections 2020

On 27 October 2020, the Independent Broadcasting Authority of Mauritius (IBA) published Directions for Private and Public Broadcasters for the Village Council Elections 2020.  The Directions became effective from 31 October 2020.

Consultation Paper on the Deployment of Radiocommunication Infrastructure Technical and Administrative Standard for Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Safety (EMF Safety Standard)

On 1 December 2020, the Information and Technology Communications Authority of Mauritius (ICTA) published a Consultation Paper on the Revision of the Deployment of Radiocommunication Infrastructure Technical and Administrative Standard for Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Safety (EMF Safety Standard).  The ICTA made changes to the Standard with the objective of adopting a more flexible approach regarding authorisations issued in the context of deployment/modification of radiocommunications infrastructure by shifting from a regulator-led authorisation process to a regime of self-declaration by licensees and registration with the ICTA.  The deadline for comments was 21 December 2020.

Malawi

Draft 3 of the Communications (Type Approval) Regulations, 2020

On 27 October 2020, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) published Draft 3 of the Communications (Type Approval) Regulations, 2020.  On 12 November 2020, MACRA published an invitation for written representations on the Draft Regulations on their Facebook page (dated 6 November 2020), indicating that MACRA will conduct stakeholder workshops on the Draft Regulations on 23, 25 and 27 November 2020. 

Notice of Proposed Communications Regulations

On 6 November 2020, MACRA published a Notice of Proposed Communications Regulations and requested written representations on the following draft Regulations:

  • Communications (Tariff) Regulations 2020
  • Communications (Interconnection) Regulations 2020
  • Communications (Access and Facilities) Regulations 2020
  • Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations
  • Guidelines for Determining Dominant Market Position in the Communication Services Sector in Malawi

The deadline for comments was 4 December 2020.

Namibia

National Policy on Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment 2021 to 2026

On 18 November 2020, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology published the National Policy on Management of Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment, as well as the Implementation Action Plan.  The Policy sets out the framework and measures to tackle the growing challenge of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment, also commonly termed as e-waste.

Intention to make a Determination of Dominant Position in Telecommunications Sector

On 20 October 2020, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) gazetted a Notice of Intention to make a Determination of Dominant Position in the Telecommunications Sector which contains a draft of the proposed Market Study on Determination of Dominant Position in the Telecommunications Sector.  The deadline for written submissions was 19 November 2020.

Public Hearings: (1) Regulations Prescribing Functions of Carriers in Respect of Installation and Maintenance of Telecommunications Facilities; and (2) Regulations Prescribing Licence Fees and Regulatory Levies

On 22 October 2020, CRAN gazetted a Notice that it will hold a public hearing regarding: (1) Regulations Prescribing Functions of Carriers in Respect of Installation and Maintenance of Telecommunications Facilities; and (2) Regulations Prescribing Licence Fees and Regulatory Levies on 12 November 2020.  The public hearings were held on 12 November 2020.

Notice of Intention to Amend the Regulations Regarding Rule-Making Procedures

On 3 November 2020, CRAN gazetted its Notice of Intention to Amend the Regulations Regarding Rule-Making Procedures.  The purpose of the proposed amendment is to ensure that regulations are in line with section 129 of the Communications Act, 2009 and to set out the process for requests for reconsideration made in terms of these Regulations. The deadline for written comments was 3 December 2020.

Invitation To Apply for FM broadcasting frequencies in Windhoek

On 19 November 2020, CRAN gazetted its Invitation To Apply for FM broadcasting frequencies in Windhoek.  Applications were open for a period of 90 days which commenced on 19 November 2020 and will close on 15 February 2021.

Nigeria

National Numbering Plan Q3, 2020

On 3 November 2020, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) published the National Numbering Plan Q3, 2020.

Allocation of Mobile Numbers as at Q3, 2020

On 3 November 2020, the NCC published the Allocation of Mobile Numbers as at Q3, 2020.

Draft Deployment Plan for 5G Network in Nigeria

On 9 November 2020, the NCC published the Consultation Document on the Draft Deployment Plan for 5G Network in Nigeria.  This Consultation Document outlines strategies that Nigeria will adopt to facilitate the deployment of 5G Technology. It outlines critical strategies that will be engaged to enable the nation derive maximum benefits from the technology, while promoting public-private participation. The NCC will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders in the country and also maintain active participation at the different global fora to ensure that the benefits of the technology are maximized in Nigeria. This Plan is a living document and will be updated as the need arises.

Draft Active Infrastructure Sharing Business Rules, Draft Collocation and Active Infrastructure Sharing Guidelines and Draft Guidelines on National Roaming in Nigeria

On 16 November 2020, the NCC published the following draft regulatory instruments:

  • Draft Active Infrastructure Sharing Business Rules:  This document sets out the Business Rules to manage the processes for Active Infrastructure Sharing amongst Telecommunications Service providers licensed by the NCC.
  • Draft Collocation and Active Infrastructure Sharing Guidelines:  These Guidelines are designed and developed to encourage Collation and Infrastructure Sharing (C/IS) between Access Providers and Access Seekers within a predetermined framework to remove uncertainty and create an environment for better co-operation.  Additionally, these Guidelines explain the NCC’s role in achieving the most efficient use of facilities amenable to sharing).
  • Draft Guidelines on National Roaming in Nigeria:  The objective of these Guidelines is to prescribe a regulatory framework for the implementation of National Roaming services in Nigeria.

The deadline for submissions was 7 December 2020, and the NCC held a virtual Public Inquiry on 16 December 2020.

Compendium on Taxes, Levies and Fees by State Governments on Telecoms Operators in Nigeria and its Effect on the National Digital Economy Agenda

On 10 December 2020, the NCC published the Compendium on Taxes, Levies and Fees by State Governments on Telecoms Operators in Nigeria and its Effect on the National Digital Economy Agenda.  The focus of this research was to explain the effects of the rates and multiplicity of charges on Telecommunications operators by State Governments and how it affects the Access Gap per State and in turn the National Digital Economy Agenda.

Consultation on Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licensing Framework

On 10 December 2020, the NCC published the Draft Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) Licence Framework, which his aimed at the introduction MVNO services in the telecommunications market, for public comment.  The NCC wishes to obtain comments from industry stakeholders and the general public on key considerations, which will be used to formulate a licensing framework and regulatory regime for MVNOs. The closing date for comments was 31 December 2020.

New Pricing Regime for National Numbering and Short Codes

On 10 December 2020, the NCC published the New Pricing Regime for National Numbering & Short Codes, which eliminates the “gliding path” for the yearly renewal of long numbers and establishes new fees for short codes, which shall take effect from 1 January 2021.

Information Request Notices for the 2020 year end

On 29 December 2020, the NCC published Information Request Notices for the 2020 year end to all fixed telephony operators (fixed wireless, fixed wired and private network link operators); mobile telephony operators (GSM & VoIP); internet service providers; and fixed telephoney operators (fixed wireless, fixed wired and private network link operators).

Rwanda

Data Protection and Privacy

On 27 October 2020, the Cabinet of Rwanda approved the draft Law Relating to Data Protection and Privacy.

Draft Regulations Governing ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, the Elderly and Persons with Special Needs in Rwanda

On 3 December 2020, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) published the Draft Regulations Governing ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, the Elderly and Persons with Special Needs in Rwanda.  The purpose of this Regulation is to provide an enabling regulatory framework to support the development of a culture of ICT accessibility, in particular accessible public access, mobile industry, television/video programming and web accessibility in favour of person with disabilities and older persons.  This Regulation will be applied to ICT licensees in Rwanda including, but not limited to, Mobile Network Operators, Internet Services Providers, Applications Services Providers, E‑commerce and Postal Services Providers, Broadcasting Services Providers, Content Providers and Type-approval Permit holders.

Statistics Report for Telecom, Media and Broadcasting Sector for the Third Quarter of 2020

On 4 December 2020, RURA published the Statistics Report for Telecom, Media and Broadcasting Sector for the third Quarter 2020. The Report compiles the information from telecommunications operators, 4G wholesaler, Internet Service Providers, Media and Broadcasting operators as per their license obligations for the period 1 July to 30 September 2020.

Draft Regulation Governing Broadcasting Services

On 11 December 2020, RURA published the Draft Regulation Governing Broadcasting Services in Rwanda for public consultation.  The purpose of this Regulation is to establish a regulatory framework for providing broadcasting services in Rwanda.

South Africa

Cybercrimes Bill

On 2 December 2020, the Cybercrimes Bill was passed by Parliament and sent to the President for assent and signing.

Invitation to Nominate Potential Persons to be considered for Appointment to the Council of the Films and Publications Board

On 28 October 2020, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies published an Invitation to Nominate Potential Persons to be considered for Appointment to the Council of the Films and Publications Board.  The deadline for nominations was 14 November 2020.

Report of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution

On 23 October 2020, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) published the Summary Report and Recommendations presented by the Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, January 2020; and Diagnostic Report of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution March 2020.

Amended Films and Publications Tariffs Regulations, 2020

On 6 November 2020, the DCDT published the Amended Films and Publications Tariffs Regulations, 2020.  Section 1 of the Amended Films and Publications Tariffs Regulations, 2020, which deals with Physical Content and Distributor Size, shall be duly effective from Monday, 1 February 2021 whereas Section 2 of the Amended Films and Publications Tariffs Regulation, 2020, which deals with Online Distribution, shall be effective from 1 December 2020.

Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework: A New Vision for South Africa 2020

On 26 November 2020, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies extended the deadline for comments on the draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework: A New Vision for South Africa to 15 February 2021.  The Draft White Paper was gazetted for comment on 9 October 2020, and the initial deadline for comments was 30 November 2020. 

ICT Sector Data Collection

On 19 October 2020, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) initiated the process for collecting the data for the 2020 State of the ICT Sector Report, which will cover the period 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020.  The deadline to submit the questionnaire was 30 November 2020.The timelines involved are as follows: 1 December 2020 to 15 January 2021 – data validation by ICASA; and 31 March 2021 – publishing of report by ICASA. 

Public Hearings on the Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry

On 21 October 2020, ICASA published a Notice indicating that it will be holding public hearings in relation to the Discussion Document on Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry on 26 to 27 October 2020. The Mobile Broadband Services Inquiry is a regulatory intervention that seeks to assess the state of competition in the provision of mobile broadband services. The public hearings took place on 26 and 27 October 2020.  ICASA plans to complete the inquiry by 31 March 2021.

Public Hearings in respect of Draft Amendment of Licensing Processes and Procedures Regulations for Class Licences

On 2 November 2020, ICASA gazetted a Notice of Public Hearings, which were held on 5 November 2020.

Public Hearings in Respect of Draft Amendment of Standard Terms and Conditions Regulations for Class Licences

On 2 November 2020, ICASA gazetted a Notice of Public Hearings, which were held on 6 November 2020.  

Public Hearings on the Draft Regulations in Respect of the Limitations of Control and Equity Ownership by Historically Disadvantaged Groups and the Application of the ICT Sector Code

On 16 November 2020, ICASA gazetted the Notice and Schedule of Public Hearings on the Draft Regulations in Respect of the Limitations of Control and Equity Ownership by Historically Disadvantaged Groups and the application of the ICT Sector Code, which were held on 19, 20 and 23 November 2020 on a virtual platform.

Public Hearings: Inquiry into Subscription Television Broadcasting Services

On 6 November 2020, ICASA gazetted a Notice of Public Hearings in the Inquiry into Subscription Television Broadcasting Services, which were held on a virtual platform on 12 to 15 January 2021.

Invitation to Apply for Appointment as Consultants to Executive and Implement ITA for Auction of Radio Frequency in IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 and IMT3500 bands

On 28 October 2020, ICASA published an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for the appointment as consultants to execute and implement the ITA for the auction of radio frequency spectrum in the IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 and IMT3500 bands. The deadline for responses was 9 November 2020.

Invitation to apply on Licensing Process for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in respect of the Provision of Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Services for Urban and Rural Areas using complimentary bands IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 and IMT3500;  and Composite Invitation to Apply for an Individual Electronic Communications Network Service Licence and Radio Frequency Spectrum Licence for the Wireless Open Access Network (WOAN)

On 11 November 2020, ICASA gazetted its Responses to stakeholder enquiries in respect of the IMT and WOAN ITA’s gazetted on 2 October 2020. ICASA also advised stakeholders to refer to its Reasons Documents for further information. On 4 December 2020, ICASA gazetted the Reasons Documents. 

On 28 December 2020, ICASA issued a Media Statement indicating that it had received six applications (from Cell C, Rain Networks, Vodacom, Telkom, Liquid Telecoms and MTN) in response to the ITA for the IMT spectrum issued on 2 October 2020.  On 20 November 2020, ICASA gazetted a Notice of Public Workshops on the ITA for the IMT spectrum, which were held from 9 to 11 December 2020.

Notice Offering a Second Round of Comments for Written Submissions in respect of Applications Received by ICASA in Response to an Invitation to Pre-Register for Community Sound Broadcasting Service Licences

On 2 November 2020, ICASA published a Notice Offering a Second Round of Comments for Written Submissions in respect of Applications Received by ICASA in Response to an Invitation to Pre-Register for Community Sound Broadcasting Service Licences.  The deadline for submission of written representations was 13 November 2020, and the submission of responses to the representations was 24 November 2020.

Draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations, 2020

On 5 November 2020, ICASA gazetted the Draft Sports Broadcasting Services Amendment Regulations, 2020, which are aimed at amending the Sports Broadcasting Services Regulations, 2010.  The deadline for written representations was 15 December 2020.

Draft Digital Sound Broadcasting Services Regulations, 2020

On 13 November 2020, ICASA gazetted the Draft Digital Sound Broadcasting Services Regulations, 2020 which seek to set out the framework for the introduction of digital sound broadcasting services and the procedure for applicants seeking to provide digital sound broadcasting services.  The deadline for written representations was 29 December 2020.  On 15 December 2020, ICASA extended the deadline to 8 January 2021.

Draft Municipal Elections Broadcasts and Political Advertisements Amendment Regulations, 2020

On 10 December 2020, ICASA gazetted the Draft Municipal Elections Broadcasts and Political Advertisements Amendment Regulations, 2020.  ICASA indicated that it will be conducting provincial workshops, which will take place from 18 to 22 January 2021.  The deadline for written representations is 16 February 2021. 

Bi-Annual Tariffs Analysis Reports for the period 1 July to 31 December 2019 and 1 January to 30 June 2020

On 12 January 2021, ICASA published its Bi-Annual Tariffs Analysis Reports for the period 1 July to 31 December 2019 and 1 January to 30 June 2020. These tariff analysis reports aims to promote retail tariff transparency with respect to prepaid retail tariffs in the telecommunications sector which were filed with ICASA.

Tanzania

Complaints Handling Guideline

On 14 December 2020, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) published the updated Complaints Handling Guideline.

The Electronic and Postal Communications (Electronic Communications Equipment Standards and E-Waste Management) Regulations, 2020

On 23 October 2020, the Electronic and Postal Communications (Electronic Communications Equipment Standards and E-Waste Management) Regulations, 2020 was gazetted.  These Regulations shall apply to electronic communications equipment imported or manufactured for use in Tanzania for connection to any electronic communications network for the purpose of receiving or transmitting electronic communication signals.

The Electronic and Postal Communications (Electronic Communication Numbering and Addressing) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020.

On 30 October 2020, the Electronic and Postal Communications (Electronic Communication Numbering and Addressing) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 was gazetted

The Electronic and Postal Communications (Domain Names Management) Regulations, 2020.

On 30 October 2020, the Electronic and Postal Communications (Domain Names Management) Regulations, 2020 was gazetted.

Uganda

Guidelines on National Roaming

On 19 October 2020, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) published the Guidelines on National Roaming.  These Guidelines seek to ensure that roaming between the operators in Uganda takes place on a fair, transparent and economically efficient basis, for the benefit of consumers, operators and the overall economy.

Guidelines on the Use of Media during the General Elections and Campaigns, 2021

On 20 November 2020, the UCC published Guidelines on the Use of Media during the General Elections and Campaigns, 2021, which prescribed and provided guidance on the expected practice by broadcasting media houses regarding campaigns and elections reporting during Uganda’s general elections.

Best Practice Guidelines for Electronic Media Broadcasting for Live Events

On 26 November 2020, the Best Practice Guidelines for Electronic Media Broadcasting for Live Events were published on the UCC’s website.  These Guidelines set out the approach to the presentation and transmission of broadcasts of live events as agreed by the UCC, the Broadcasting Council and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Uganda’s National 4IR Strategy: A continental 4IR hub that enables a smart and connected Ugandan society 

On 26 October 2020, the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance published Uganda’s National 4IR Strategy document.   This strategy document employs a three-part framework to set out Uganda’s key 4IR opportunities, enablers and delivery mechanisms.  The key 4IR opportunities identify the areas where 4IR technology can contribute to concrete gains in Uganda’s development objectives.  The critical enablers set out the actions that must be taken for these gains to be realised.  The delivery mechanisms provide practical implementation channels to ensure implementation of this strategy is effective and sustainable.

Operational Guidelines on SIM Card Registration in Uganda

On 1 December 2020, the UCC published the Operational Guidelines on SIM Card Registration in Uganda. The purpose of these Guidelines is to (a) prescribe the operational requirements for the registration of SIM Cards for the different categories of customers including Ugandan nationals, foreigners, refugees and corporate bodies; (b) set requirements for operators to verify information provided by applicants for SIM Cards; and (c) harmonise the different directives and processes for SIM Card registration, SIM swapping and/replacement issued by the UCC and consolidate them into these Guidelines.

Content Development Support Programme Guidelines

On 24 December 2020, the UCC published the Content Development Support Programme Guidelines. The Guidelines establish the Content Development Support Programme (CDSP) which is an initiative dedicated to supporting the Ugandan production companies and individuals for the development of Audio-visual content, including feature films, short films, animations, documentaries, and television dramas.

Market Performance Report, 3rd Quarter 2020

On 8 January 2021, the UCC published the Market Performance Report for the 3rd Quarter of 2020, which covers the period between July and September 2020.

Zambia

Ministry of Transport and Communications: National Child Online Protection Strategy

On 3 November 2020, ZICTA published the Minister of Transport and Communications’ National Child Online Protection (COP) Strategy, which is aimed at mitigating online risks and vulnerabilities associated with children. 

Media Development Policy

On 23 November 2020, the Information and Broadcasting Services Minister launched the Media Development Policy.  The Policy’s aim is to create a conducive environment for a free, independent, professional and pluralistic media to thrive.

Request for applications for spectrum in the 800MHz band

On 16 October 2020, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) extended the deadline for applications for spectrum in the 800MHz band from 30 October 2020 to 30 November 2020.  On 29 December 2020, ZICTA published a Notice indicating that it had awarded the radio spectrum in the 800 MHz frequency band for mobile services to Airtel Networks Zambia Limited.

Tender for the Design, Supply, Delivery, Installation and Commissioning of Twenty-Four Communication Towers

On 3 November 2020, ZICTA published a Tender for the Design, Supply, Delivery, Installation and Commissioning of Twenty-Four Communication Towers.  The deadline for bids was 4 December 2020. On 13 November 2020, ZICTA published a Question and Clarification document in relation to this Tender.

Zimbabwe

Postal and Telecommunications (Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring and Revenue Assurance) Regulations, 2020

On 12 November 2020, the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) called for input from stakeholders and the public on the proposed Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring and Revenue Assurance (TTMS) Regulations, 2020.  The purpose of the Regulations is to provide for the conditions, requirements and procedures for monitoring telecommunications traffic in Zimbabwe. The deadline for comments was 20 November 2020.

Proposed National Broadband Plan 2020/2030

On 16 November 2020, POTRAZ published the Proposed National Broadband Plan 2020/2030 for comment.  The purpose of the consultation is to obtain the views of stakeholders on policies and regulations that need to be developed and improved on, as well as strategies that should be employed to enable Zimbabwe to achieve universal broadband access at affordable prices, while at the same time ensuring its usability and palatability across all sectors of the economy regardless of social status for attainment of Vision 2030. The deadline for comments was 20 December 2020.

Finance (No. 2) Act, 2020

On 7 January 2021, the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2020 was published.  The Act amends, among other things, the General Rate of Value Added Tax on Supply of Cellular Telecommunications Service which will now be 14.5%.

Postal and Telecommunications (Licensing, Registration and Certification) Regulations, 2021

On 8 January 2021, the Postal and Telecommunications (Licensing, Registration and Certification) Regulations, 2021 were published. 

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This e-bulletin provides only general information on legislative and regulatory developments, which we consider key. It is not our intention to list all developments in the sector across Sub-Saharan Africa. For further information, please contact Wendy Rosenberg or Tebogo Sibidla of Werksmans Attorneys, South Africa

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