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ICT Policies and Regulations in Africa: Implications to NRENs

ICT Policies and Regulations in Africa: Implications to NRENs. Lishan Adam. Outline. Progress in regulations and ICT policies Qualitative view of ICT policies and regulations Regional dimensions of regulation Challenges and opportunities

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ICT Policies and Regulations in Africa: Implications to NRENs

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  1. ICT Policies and Regulations in Africa: Implications to NRENs Lishan Adam

  2. Outline • Progress in regulations and ICT policies • Qualitative view of ICT policies and regulations • Regional dimensions of regulation • Challenges and opportunities • Emerging policy and regulatory issues within the context of NREN • Implications

  3. Progress • Reform in the telecom sector in all countries and improved private investment • Tele-density from 1% in 1990 to above 10% in 2005 (including mobile) • Mobile footprint of about 30% • Internet usage, slow but improved (about 2-3%) • RECs (ECOWAS, SADC, COMESA), NEPAD, ADB have made in regional networks and broadband top priority • Independent IXPs in about nine countries • Market entry by alternative communication service providers (Gas, electricity, railway)

  4. Less than 5% have moved towards full competition in basic services Over 35 countries have yet to introduce competition in fixed segment

  5. Reform agenda incompletePublic and private sector investment is required for rapid diffusion of NRENsGood regulation is a must for lowering cost and bring about rapid investment

  6. Qualitative view – regulatory situation in Africa • Using a key benchmarks like • legal status – laws creating the regulatory body • Independence - budget, decision, legitimacy • Competencies – tariff setting, licensing, resource allocation, dispute settlement, interconnection, quality of service, consumer protection, facilitating competition and market entry • Internal organization –staffing, management and relationship with the board • Regulatory governance – participation of CSO, public • Enforcement – enforcement power, interaction with judiciary, arbitration bodies • Different pace of reform due to institutional and political factors • Three phases in regulation • Phase I – regulatory bodies are non-existent or ineffective • Phase II – regulatory bodies exist, do assume roles, but weak • Phase III – regulatory bodies assume full roles

  7. State owned Incumbent operators Monopoly of International Segment Cameroon Burkina Faso Gambia Benin Chad Kenya Zambia Eritrea Swaziland Namibia Ethiopia Rwanda Comoros Congo DRC Angola Mozambique Nigeria Zimbabwe Botswana Gabon Malawi Burundi Sierra Leone Liberia Mali Congo Tunisia Algeria Togo Cote d’ivoire Senegal South Africa Niger Mauritania CAR Sao Tome Equatorial Guinea Sudan Cape Verde Guinea Bissau Mauritius Lesotho Others Tanzania Morocco Uganda Egypt Somalia Guinea No regulatory Authority Mobile Monopoly

  8. Phase I • Regulatory agencies are non-established (sector ministry in charge) or not functional – e.g Sierra Leone, Liberia, Eritrea,Swaziland • One to five staff members • Watching the behaviour of monopoly operator • Non-existent enforcement and dispute resolution • No public participation • Limited competencies of staff and inefficient institution • Unable to determine market behaviour

  9. Phase II • Countries have created sector regulators and licensed sector participants (Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, etc.) • Laws are in place • Some independence in allocation of resources, government sets fees and approve allocation • Some power in dispute resolution and enforcement via fine • A few core competencies • Decisions with approval of minister • Assume certain roles in market development

  10. Phase III • Barely a few regulatory institutions… • Meet the necessary independence and self governance criteria • Promote open access - (technology neutral, competition in all layers, opportunities for small players to connect) • All the necessary competencies (e.g tariff setting, licensing, resource allocation, dispute settlement, interconnection, quality of service, consumer protection, facilitating competition and market entry) • assumed an active role in enforcement, promoting competition, open access in all layers (local, national regional, service, transmission, physical)and general market development • Clear from entrenched personal and political interest (focus on long term benefits than short term benefits) • Flexible and technology neutral regulation • Sophisticated information systems (transparency)

  11. Information Management as a key indicator on progress • Organization do not pay attention to the appeals their content, content management is not a core businesshttp://www.ncc.org.na/ • Information management is often event driven -http://www.incm.gov.mz/ • New tools are not incorporated- Web sites remain static -http://www.potraz.gov.zw/, • Some feel that basic information could be sufficient -http://www.virtualseychelles.sc/gover/mitc_telecom.htm • Outsourcing core function as a result no up to date sites • Outdated web sites

  12. PHASE III Mauritius, Morocco, Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa Uganda Kenya Nigeria Senegal Cote d’Ivoire Ghana Mozambique Mauritania Zambia Zimbabwe Lesotho Namibia Seychelles Rwanda Malawi Cameroon Mali Sudan Congo Togo Burkina Faso PHASE II Burundi Cameroon, Niger, Guinea-Bissau DRC Ethiopia Comoros Benin Chad Togo Cape Verde Gabon Gambia Swaziland, Sao Tome & Principe Equatorial Guineas Eritrea, Sierra Leone Liberia Central African Republic PHASE I

  13. Consequences of weakness in regulation • Slowed transaction and investment due to negative sentiments • Excessive cost of bandwidth • Backbone networks over stretched • Network concentration in urban area • Limited diffusion of wireless and innovative technologies

  14. Challenges • Different pace of reform due to these institutional and political factors • Regulation were not up to date to reflect technological changes, rapidly changing circumstances – • outdated “Telecommunication ACT” over 7 years makes it difficult to regulate • Information asymmetry and low level of competence to regulate/not regulate the dynamic sector • Competing institutions (IT, regulator, spectrum management, broadcast, consumer affairs, fair trade, parent ministry) • New elements of monopoly and resistance (mobile services)

  15. In imperfect governance situation regulation more about mediating vested interest and political networks • Natural tendencies to defend status quo • Governments trying to (open the sector and protect the incumbent) • Influence of political and individual agendas • Personality of regulators, background, relationship to the incumbent and senior policy makers • Role of influential sector participants (Board, director of operators) • Ignorance and fear of consequences of changes or introducing competition

  16. National ICT Policies • Many countries developed e-strategies between 1999-2003 at the height of enthusiasm about ICTs • Were instrumental in raising awareness, mobilization of resource, conceptual shift to ICT4D and digital divide now to wider information society issues Decisive changes to policies and implementation of e-strategies has been difficult Detached from core reform agenda Comprehensive vs focussed ICT experts vs development experts Distribution impact on sectors vs ICT investment Technology push vs reality Internal vs external Commitment vs rhetoric Shopping list vs realistic implement able projects Consensus and participatory vs decree Organic vs driven by institutions New institutions vs competing implementing agencies PRSP/MDG focus vs host of lists under the sun

  17. Regional Dimensions • Smaller traffic, large number of countries • Regional strategies • Policy harmonization • Cross-border connectivity • Rationalization of initiatives • Investment opportunities (PPP) – mostly studies – DFID, World Bank, e-Africa commission • Enabling environment – Interconnection (world Bank) ARICEA EARPTO e-Africa Commission

  18. Opportunities for NREN • Phasing out of exclusivity period (Senegal, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Mali, Ghana) • Introduction of converged licensing regime (post-exclusivity) – Kenya, Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa Senegal, Tanzania, these announced broad competition • IP driven market dynamics • Depriving incumbents of lucrative revenue • low volume/high margin  High volume low margin • Digital divide/ information society initiatives • WSIS (ITU, ADB) • Commission for Africa • NEPAD/AU • RECs (ECOWAS, ECAAS, COMESA, SADC, EAC, IOC, • National (e-strategies, ICT4D policies) • Fastest growing communications economy

  19. Implications to NREN • Regulations adapted to NREN take time (patience) • No homogeneous model or logic in regulation – respond to specific infrastructure, demographic and organizational capacities (institutional, national NREN, sub-regional, continental) • Stronger knowledge networks between regulators, policy makers, members of NREN for joint innovations ( focus on local innovations) • NREN members could capitalize on their position in the society (VCs, eminent academics) to negotiate changes in policies (human relations) • Local policies research and advocacy informed by global best practices (bring in global best practice)

  20. Implications to NREN • Involvement of middle level managers (technocrats drafting policies and regulations) • NREN promotion within the contexts of • E-strategies e-governance • Development, MDGs and government e-education, national S&T policy • Regional agenda (Strategic policy advocacy speak the language) • Policy and advocacy strategy taking incentives, vested interests, linguistic, cultural and regional factors into account (association with local actors) • Smaller better – EARPTO

  21. Implications to NREN • Bilateral, trilateral or … quadrilateral regional aggregations could be used as building block for regional regulations – federated R&E networks useful than regional • Organic development start from where it works (SARUA) • Regional harmonization through regional regulatory associations (engage NRAs) • Build interface with regulatory associations (participation in AGM, OGM) • Awareness – tutorials • Model NREN and regulatory implications cookbook(small players, e-rates, Dark fiber, public good) • Use of regional organizations (AAU, East African Universities Association, Association of Francophone universities.) • Rationalization of regional NREN projects and initiatives (avoid confusions, policy makers do hate confusion and unnecessary details) • It is about policy…and commitment of governments • AU, NEPAD, RECs (ECOWAS, SADC, COMESA) agenda • Policy advocacy requires same level of commitment – “It is political, institutional than technical”

  22. Thank you

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