Communications Act needs amendment – CRAN

30 March 2021 | Technology

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has called on lawmakers to amend the “outdated” Communications Act of 2009 in a bid to respond to evolving technology.
A CRAN delegation met with members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information, Communication, Technology and Innovation in the National Assembly on Monday to familiarise MPs with CRAN’s mandate, contribution towards an information society as well as challenges and achievements faced by the authority.
CRAN chief executive Emilia Nghikembua said that one of the major challenges hindering CRAN operations is the outdated Act which needs to be amended to include new mandates in response to new technology used by industry players whom they regulate. “Our industry is technology-driven and a lot has happened since 2009 that requires the policies to be amended,” she said, adding that they are in consultation with the information and technology minister but will need the support of lawmakers to pass the amendments.

Fast tracking
Nghikembua further asked MPs to assist in fast tracking the finalisation and passing of the Cyber Crime Bill which she said is required for cyber security. She noted that a political decision has been reached for the Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) to be placed under CRAN, saying that the CIRT is important in ensuring a swift response on any potential cyber-attacks on the country or government institutions.
“However, the authority will need seed funding for the establishment of the team,” she said.
Other challenges highlighted by CRAN is limited revenue streams as well as well rental costs as a result of the institution having no office accommodation of their own. CRAN, she said is also struggling with the attracting and retention of skilled and experienced persons in the field of technology. – Nampa

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