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Friday, Feb 23rd

'Regulate less and be more flexible'

'Regulate less and be more flexible'

Africa needs to regulate less and do so with more flexibility. This is one of the key takeaways from the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Forum for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) 2017 taking place in Maputo this week.

The event is hosted by the CTO, in conjunction with Mozambique's Ministry of Transport and Communications and the country's Communications Regulatory Authority (INCM).

Trilok Dabeesing, Director of Information Technology at the Information and Communication Technologies Authority of Mauritius (ICTA) alerted attendees about the danger of stifling innovation in their regulatory practices and policies.

"We should not use regulation as a barrier to innovation," warned Dabeesing.

The 2017 Global Innovation Index (GII), released in June, positioned Mauritius in second place, behind South Africa and ahead of Kenya.

Paris Mashile, a Councillor at the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) which signed an MoU with Mozambican regulator INCM earlier this year for cooperation and coordination in respect of spectrum management for telecommunications and broadcasting services, believes regulators should adopt a more forward looking approach to regulation.

"We need ex ante regulation," said Mashile.

Gilbert Peterson, Chairman of the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) echoed Mashile's sentiments.

"We need to regulate less and more flexibly."

Mozambique is the only Portuguese-speaking country among the CTO's twenty six full member countries, which include South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Ghana, Malawi and Nigeria.

The CTO counts Huawei, Sentech, Safaricom and BoFiNet among its private sector members. The 2017 Forum for ICT ends tomorrow.

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