272022Jan
Technology Media and Telecommunications Africa Quarterly E Bulletin

Technologie, médias et télécommunications 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 2021 to 15 January 2022 and includes developments from Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Botswana

Invitation to Consultative Workshop on Repair Service Providers Guidelines and Socialization of the Type Approval Verification Guidelines

On 5 November 2021, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) invited ICT Stakeholders to a Consultative Workshop on the Repair Service Providers Guidelines and Socialization of the Type Approval Verification Guidelines. The Workshop was held on 23 November 2021.

Type Approval Verification Guidelines (Sim Enabled Devices), 2022

On 13 January 2022, BOCRA published Type Approval Verification Guidelines (Sim Enabled Devices), 2022.  These Guidelines will come into operation on 1 April 2022.

Data Protection Act (Act No. 32 of 2018)

On 15 October 2021, the Data Protection Act (No. 32 of 2018) came into effect, upon the issuance of the Data Protection Act (Commencement Date) Order, 2021 by the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Security.

Cameroun

Finance Law of the Republic of Cameroon for the 2022 financial year

On 16 December 2021, the Finance Law for the 2022 financial year was enacted.  Going forward, mobile money users in Cameroon will have to pay a money transfer tax of 0.2% on amounts transferred or withdrawn.

Ghana

Designation of Critical Information Infrastructure Pursuant to Subsection (2) of Section 35 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038)

On 23 September 2021, the Designation of Critical Information Infrastructure Pursuant to Subsection (2) of Section 35 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038) was gazetted. It designates specified computer systems and networks as critical information infrastructure.

Regulatory Guidelines for FM Authorisation Holders

On 21 October 2021, the National Communications Authority (NCA) published Regulatory Guidelines for FM Authorisation Holders. This is a Guide to assist successful applicants for Broadcasting Authorisations to gain a clear understanding of the regulations and conditions to facilitate compliance.

ITU-T E.800-Series Guidelines on regulatory aspects of QoS

On 2 December 2021, the NCA published the ITU-T E.800-Series Guidelines on regulatory aspects of Quality of service.

Quarterly Statistical Bulletin on Communications Q2, 2021

On 2 December 2021, the NCA published its Quarterly Statistical Bulletin on Communications in Ghana for the second quarter of 2021 (April – June 2021).

Kenya

Draft Strategic Plan for the Office of Data Protection Commissioner

On 26 October 2021, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner published its Draft Strategic Plan for FY 2021-2023 and invited stakeholders to a consultative workshop regarding the Draft Strategic Plan, which was held on 27 October.  

Copyright Amendment Bill, 2021

On 15 November 2021, the Parliament of Kenya published the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for public comments by 30 November 2021.

Data Protection Regulations, 2021

On 14 January 2021, the Data Protection (General) Regulations, 2021, the Data Protection (Complaints Handling and Enforcement Procedures) Regulations, 2021 and the Data Protection (Registration of Data Controllers and Date Processors) Regulations, 2021 were published and are awaiting approval from the National Assembly.

Draft Frequency Spectrum Transfer Guidelines

On 22 November 2021, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) published the Draft Frequency Spectrum Transfer Guidelines for stakeholder consultation. The objectives of these Guidelines are to (i) promote and enhance transparency and predictability in facilitating spectrum transfers and act as an instrument that will aid efficient management of the scarce spectrum resource; and (ii) to remove regulatory barriers and increase access to spectrum, which is part of the CA’s secondary market initiatives to ensure efficient use of the spectrum. The deadline for comments was 14 December 2021.

Public Consultation on Guidelines for Addressing Counterfeit, Stolen and Illegal ICT Devices

On 28 December 2021, the CA published Draft Guidelines for Addressing Counterfeit, Stolen and Illegal ICT Devices for public consultation.  The deadline for comments was 27 January 2022.

Lesotho

Review of Lesotho Communications Authority (Licensing Classification and Fees) Rules, 2018

On 2 November 2021, the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) published a Public Notice indicating that it has embarked on a review of the Lesotho Communications Authority (Licensing Classification & Fees) Rules, 2018. The review intends to align the licensing classification and fees with technological developments and international best practice for management of finite resources.  Upon completion of the internal review processes, stakeholders will be informed and invited to submit written input on the proposed licensing classification and fees. Subsequently, the Lesotho Communications Authority (Licensing Classification & Fees) Rules, 2022 will repeal the current Rules. The new Rules are expected to come into effect from 1 April 2022.

Licensee Satisfaction Survey, 2021

On 22 October 2021, the LCA invited all LCA licensees to participate in the 2021 Licensee Satisfaction Survey.

Consumer Satisfaction Survey, 2021

On 22 October 2021, the LCA invited all LCA consumers to participate in the 2021 Consumer Satisfaction Survey.

Ile Maurice

The Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Act, No. 16 of 2021

The Cybersecurity and Cybercrime Act, No. 16 of 2021 was gazetted on 24 November 2021 and will repeal and replace the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act, 2003. The Act will come into operation on a date to be fixed by Proclamation.

The Independent Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act, No. 18 of 2021

The Independent Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act, No. 18 of 2021 was gazetted on 1 December 2021.

Licence Fees Moratorium

On 12 November 2021, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority of Mauritius (ICTA) published a Notice informing licensees that it is granting a moratorium period up to 15 January 2022 for payment of all licence fees which are still due for a period of at least one year. Failure to settle outstanding licence fees within the moratorium period will result in valid licences lapsing automatically on 16 January 2022. This announcement follows the coming into effect of Section 24(9)(b) of the Information and Communication Technologies Act 2001 on 5 August 2021, as amended by the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2021, which provides that a licence shall lapse where fees with respect to the said licence remain unpaid for a period of one year.

Amendments to Terms and Conditions of E-Dealers’ Licences

On 9 December 2021, ICTA sent a Notice to all E-Dealers Licensees informing them of Amendments to the Terms and Conditions of E-Dealers’ Licences.

Mozambique

National Frequency Allocation Plan, 2021 

On 16 December 2021, the National Institute of Communications of Mozambique (INCM) published its National Frequency Allocation Plan, 2021.

Communications Regulation 2020 Report

On 31 December 2021, the INCM published the Communications Regulation Report, 2020.

Namibie

Stakeholder and Customer Satisfaction Survey

On 24 November 2021, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) informed Stakeholders that it has commissioned a research firm, Sustainable Development Africa CC (SusDAf) to conduct a Stakeholder and Customer Satisfaction Survey. SusDAf will approach stakeholders to participate in the survey between 13 December 2021 and 21 January 2022.

Telecommunications Sector Market Report, October 2021

On 7 December 2021, CRAN published its Telecommunications Sector Market Report, October 2021.

Nigeria

Reports on Public Inquiries

On 26 October 2021, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) published Reports on the following three Public Inquiries:

  • Public Inquiry on the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulations (As Amended) and Business Rules and Operational Processes for Implementation of the National Policy for SIM Activation.
  • Public Inquiry on the SIM Replacement Guidelines.
  • Report of Public Inquiry on the Draft Spectrum Trading Guidelines.

Information Memorandum on 3.5 GHz Fifth Generation (5G) Spectrum Auction

On 4 November 2021, the NCC held a Stakeholders’ Engagement Forum in respect of the Draft Information Memorandum (IM) on the 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction. On 10 November 2021, the NCC published a document containing the Comments received at the Stakeholder Forum and the Final Information Memorandum on the Spectrum Auction. On 24 November 2021, the NCC extended the deadline for bids to 29 November 2021. On 2 December 2021, the NCC announced that three telecoms companies had qualified as approved bidders, namely MTN Nigeria Plc, Mafab Communications Limited and Airtel Networks Limited.  The three companies participated in the mandatory Mock Auction process which took place on 10 December 2021 and the Main Auction which took place on 13 December 2021.  On 14 December 2021, it was reported that the NCC awarded slots for the 3.5 GHz 5G spectrum to MTN and MAFAB Communications Limited.

2021 Year-end Annual Questionnaires

On 8 December 2021, the NCC published the following 2021 Year-end Annual Questionnaires: (i) Value Added Services; (ii) Infrastructure Sharing and Collocation Services; (iii) Other Operators & Service Providers; (iv) Mobile (GSM & VoIP) Telephony Services; (v) Fixed Wireless / Wired Telephony Services; and (vi) Internet Service Providers (ISP).

Determination of Mobile International Termination Rate for Voice Services

On 25 November 2021, the NCC issued its Determination of Mobile International Termination Rate for Voice Services.

Rwanda

Law No. 058/2021 Relating to the Protection of Personal Data and Privacy

On 15 October 2021, Law No. 058/2021 Relating to the Protection of Personal Data and Privacy was gazetted. It came into operation on the same date.

les Seychelles

Cybercrimes and Other Related Crimes Act No. 59 of 2021

The Cybercrimes and Other Related Crimes Act, No. 59 of 2021 was gazetted on 20 December 2021.

Communications Bill, 2021 (Bill No. 60 of 2021)

The Communications Bill, No. 60 of 2021 was gazetted on 15 November 2021. It will repeal and replace the Broadcasting and Telecommunication Act, CAP 19.

Environment Protection (Waste Services) Regulations, 2021

The Environment Protection (Waste Services) Regulations, 2021 were gazetted on 12 November 2021.

Broadcasting and Telecommunication (Per-second Billing by Operators of Public Land Mobile Network) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021

The Broadcasting and Telecommunication (Per-second Billing by Operators of Public Land Mobile Network) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 were gazetted on 22 December 2021.

Licences (Broadcasting and Telecommunication) Regulations, 2021

The Licences (Broadcasting and Telecommunication) Regulations, 2021 were gazetted on 31 December 2021.

Afrique du Sud

Inquiry for the Implementation of the Radio Frequency Migration Plan and of the IMT Roadmap

On 29 October 2021, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) published its Briefing Note: Response to Stakeholders’ Questions of Clarity on the Inquiry for the Implementation of the Radio Frequency Migration Plan and of the IMT Roadmap.  On 30 September 2021, ICASA gazetted the Notice of Inquiry for the Implementation of the Radio Frequency Migration Plan and of the IMT Roadmap. The deadline for written submissions was 3 December 2021.  On 24 December 2021, ICASA gazetted its Findings of its Inquiry and its Position, and invited comments on the Draft Implementation of the Radio Frequency Migration Plan and of the IMT Roadmap.  The deadline for comments is 11 February 2022.

Commencement of certain sections of the Cybercrimes Act, 2020

On 30 November 2021, a Presidential Proclamation was gazetted setting the date of commencement of certain sections of the Cybercrimes Act, 2020 as 1 December 2021.

Copyright Amendment Bill

On 3 December 2021, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry invited written submissions on specific additional definitions and clauses in relation to the Copyright Amendment Bill. The deadline for comments is noon on 28 January 2022.

Discussion Document on the Review of Pro-Competitive Conditions Imposed on Licensees in terms of Call Termination Regulations, 2014

On 5 November 2021, ICASA published its Discussion Document on the Review of Pro-Competitive Conditions Imposed on Licensees in terms of the Call Termination Regulations, 2014. Interested persons were invited to submit written representations on the Discussion Document by 11 January 2022.

ICT Covid-19 National State of Disaster Regulations, 2021

On 11 November 2021, ICASA gazetted the ICT Covid-19 National State of Disaster Regulations, 2021, which repeal the 2020 Regulations, and which came into force on date of publication.

Notice of Implementation of Number Portability Regulations, 2018

On 15 December 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice proclaiming that the Number Portability Regulations, 2018 will come into force on 7 March 2022.

Notice in respect of Regulation 7 of the Number Portability Regulations, 2018 to amend the Ordering System Specification for Number Portability

On 30 December 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice in respect of Regulation 7 of the Number Portability Regulations, 2018 to amend the Ordering System Specification for Number Portability.  These specifications will be called the Ordering System Specification for Geographic, Non-Geographic and Mobile Number Portability, 2021 and will come into effect on 7 March 2022.

Draft Amendment Regulations governing aspects of the Procedures of the Complaints and Compliance Committee of ICASA, 2021

On 26 November 2021, ICASA gazetted Draft Amendment Regulations governing aspects of the Procedures of the Complaints and Compliance Committee of ICASA, 2021. The deadline for comments was 20 January 2022.

Radio Frequency Spectrum Amendments Regulations, 2021.

On 24 December 2021, ICASA gazetted the Radio Frequency Spectrum Amendment Regulations, 2021.

ICASA Invitation for Applications for the Provisional Assignment of Radio Frequency Spectrum

On 10 November 2021, ICASA published a Notice inviting infrastructure-based mobile network operators to apply, by 17 November 2021, for the provisional assignment of radio frequency spectrum under the new ICT COVID-19 National State of Disaster Regulations, 2021.

On 26 November 2021, ICASA announced that it has awarded provisional radio frequency spectrum assignments to qualifying licensees. The licences are valid for seven months, commencing from 1 December 2021, and ending on 30 June 2022, or three months after the termination of the National State of Disaster, whichever comes first.

Second Information Memorandum in relation to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences for IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 & IMT3500 to providing national broadband wireless access services

On 16 November 2021, ICASA published a Second Information Memorandum (IM) and Reasons Document in relation to the Radio Frequency Spectrum Licences for IMT700, IMT800, IMT2600 & IMT3500 to providing national broadband wireless access services. This Second IM was intended to reflect the key elements to be contained in the ITA to be published by ICASA on 10 December 2021.  The deadline for written representations was 30 November 2021.

ICASA Decision on the Publication of a Consultation Document in respect of the Amended Composite Invitation to Apply (“ITA”) for Individual Electronic Communications Network Services (“I-ECNS”) and Radio Frequency Spectrum (“RFS”) Licences for the Purpose of Operating a Wireless Open Access Network (“WOAN”)

On 19 November 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice regarding its Decision on the Publication of a Consultation Document in respect of the Amended Composite ITA for I-ECNS and RFS Licences for the Purpose of Operating a WOAN, indicating that it has resolved to temporarily suspend the timetable in relation to the licensing of a WOAN.  On 30 November 2021, ICASA told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications that it was on course to finally begin the auction of spectrum to licence-holding bidders at the beginning of March 2022.  On 10 December 2021, ICASA gazetted the Final ITA and Reasons Document for the ITA.  The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2022.

ICASA to reopen applications for Community Sound Broadcasting Services

On 1 December 2021, ICASA published a Media Statement informing all stakeholders and communities of the reopening of the licensing processes for community radio and television broadcasting services across the country. ICASA indicated that it will publish a new Invitation to Pre-Register (ITP-R) for community radio by 15 December 2021, and the new ITP-R for community television services in April 2022.  ICASA held a workshop on 8 December 2021.

On 15 December 2021, ICASA gazetted the new ITP-R for Community Sound Broadcasting Service and Radio Frequency Spectrum licences.  The closing date for the submission of pre-registration notices is 30 June 2022.

Notice regarding applications for Individual Commercial Sound Broadcasting Service (I-CBS) and Radio Frequency Spectrum (RFS) Licences in the Northern Cape

On 15 December 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice informing stakeholders that it did not receive any applications in response to the Invitation to Apply published on 22 February 2021 for Individual Commercial Sound Broadcasting Service (I-CBS) and Radio Frequency Spectrum (RFS) Licences in the Northern Cape (Secondary Markets), but that it will continue to assess the Northern Cape secondary market with a view to concluding a successful licensing process in the future.

Notice of Intention to Conduct an Inquiry into the Long-Term Spectrum Outlook for South Africa

On 24 December 2021, ICASA gazetted a Notice of its Intention to Conduct an Inquiry into the Long-Term Spectrum Outlook for public consultation.  The purpose of the Inquiry is to conceptualise scenario plans for the Long-Term Spectrum Outlook for South Africa.  The deadline for submissions is 4 March 2022.

Issuance of Certificates of Compliance for Electromagnetic Compatibility for Manufacturers

On 3 January 2022, ICASA gazetted a Notice on the Issuance of Certificates of Compliance for Electromagnetic Compatibility for Manufacturers.

Information Regulator Guide on how to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA Guide), as amended

On 16 November 2021, the Information Regulator of South Africa (IR) gazetted a Notice informing Information Officers of Public Bodies that they are required to make copies of the PAIA Guide available, in at least two official languages, for public inspection at their registered head offices during normal office hours.

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) invites applications from interested and suitably qualified persons to serve as Non-Executive Directors of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA)

On 19 November 2021, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) invited applications from interested and suitably qualified persons to serve as Non-Executive Directors of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).  The deadline for applications was 30 November 2021.

ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) Request for Proposals for the Provisioning of Registry Services for co.za, web.za, net.za, and org.za second-level domains

On 19 November 2021, the ZADNA issued a Request for Proposals for the provisioning of registry services for co.za, web.za, net.za, and org.za second-level domains. ZADNA is the statutory regulator and manager of the .za namespace. The deadline for submissions was 9 December 2021.

Tanzanie

Public Consultation on the Minimum Technical Specifications for Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

On 18 October 2021, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) published a Notice and Consultation Document on its Public Consultation on the Minimum Technical Specifications for Internet of Things (IoT) Devices.  The deadline for submissions was 31 October 2021. On 19 November 2021, the TCRA published the Final Minimum Technical Specifications for IoT Devices. These Specifications define the minimum technical requirements for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that use Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies to operate in one of the authorised frequency bands or frequencies stated in this specification.

Ouganda

Uganda Communications Commission launches new e-Service Portal

On 3 December 2021, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) launched the new e-Service Portal. Providers of communications services in Uganda will now be able to apply for Short Codes and Type Approval online, as well as track the progress of their application.

Zambie

Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) Draft Bill

On 17 November 2021, the Technical Working Group on media self-regulation presented the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) Draft Bill to the Minister of Information and Media.

Television White Spaces (TVWS) Guidelines

On 22 October 2021, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) published its Television White Spaces (TVWS) Guidelines.

Annual Numbering Report, 2021

On 15 November 2021, ZICTA published its Annual Numbering Report, 2021.

Zimbabwe

Data Protection Act No. 5 of 2021

The Data Protection Act [Chapter 11:22] (No. 5 of 2021) was gazetted and signed into law on 3 December 2021.

Broadcasting (Listener’s Licenses) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (No. 4)

On 19 November 2021, the Broadcasting (Listener’s Licenses) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (No. 4) were published. These Regulations repeal the Broadcasting (Listeners’ Licences) (Fees) Notice, 2021, published in Statutory Instrument 23 of 2021.

Public Notice: Moratorium on Licensing of Certain Radio Frequency Spectrum Dependent Telecommunication Licences

On 23 November 2021, POTRAZ published a notice of its Moratorium on Licensing of Certain Radio Frequency Spectrum Dependent Telecommunication Licences.

Sector Performance Report for Q3, 2021

On 21 December 2021, POTRAZ released its Sector Performance Report for Q3, 2021.


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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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