|National ICT policy review starts|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:13|
ICT Minister Nelson Chamisa told a Press conference on Monday that the national ICT policy would be launched this year. The minister said the reviewing of the policy had been necessitated by the need to take into account developments in the ICT sector in recent years since the current policy was crafted six years ago.
“However, it has been six years now, the time has come for a review of this policy, more so considering the rapid nature in which the renovation of technologies for information and communications take place,” said Minister Chamisa.
One of the key observations made by the minister was the need to move with speed on the country’s e-commerce framework and e-government together with the interoperability and the migration from the analogue to digital system.
I received the news with so much excitement because it shows that we are a progressive nation because a lot has happened during the past six years.
We have serious issues of website hacking, information security, network security policies and the IT governance statutes that we have to contend with as a country. A previous quick review proved that most institutions in Zimbabwe are operating outside any IT governance statute posing serious risk to organisations since ICTs are the bedrock of every entity.
Other issues of concern include having an IT manager reporting to the financial director which is the norm in almost every organisation in Zimbabwe.
An IT manager in most instances prepares a very technical proposition to the finance director to buy a new security server costing hundreds thousand of dollars and in turn the finance director turns down the proposal because they do not find the sense in fixing something which is not broken.
The National ICT Policy Review project is aimed to benefit all users of ICT services in Zimbabwe.
It also involves e-leadership training and capacity building and the shared infrastructure and e-services development. Each of the components that derive from a National ICT Policy go beyond the basic individual rights such as freedom of speech and association but extend to challenges created by the explosion of new technologies accompanied by the increase in size and scope of data to be considered.
The main risks accompanying protection of such rights are highlighted in the loss of control by individuals of the use of their personal data and the increasing shift to automated decision-making.
Solutions must then be found to take into consideration issues relating to the creation of legal certainty, including protection of individual rights, transparency and regional homogeneity of ICT laws.
Minister Chamisa also noted that another aspect that they will be looking at is the mobile operators’ licences that are due to expire next year.
The review of the ICT policy comes at a time when the country has made great strides in the sector.
Victoria falls to facilitate communication during the conference.