The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says information and communication technology (ICT) services have the potential to grow the country’s economy.
Macra’s board chairperson for legal and administration committee Chancy Gondwe made the remarks Monday morning in Blantyre during the opening of World Radio Communication (WRC) consultative meeting.
The meeting is part of preparations for the forthcoming World Radio Communication (WRC) 15 Conference which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from November 2 to 27 2015.
Gondwe said ICT has the potential to drive economic growth, observing that most countries which are doing well on the economic front rely on ICT.
“As the world economy is becoming increasingly dependent on ICT, it is pleasing to see Malawi now experiencing some progress in ICT penetration, largely attributed to the emergence of mobile communication services in terms of both voice and data.
“The increasing use of mobile services translates to growth in the national economy hence the need to protect some fixed services used for the delivery of such services.
“It is, therefore, important to hold such consultative meetings so that the contributions should focus on the ICT future where the country’s economy hinges on,” said Gondwe, adding that it was important for Macra to meet regularly with its stakeholders so that ideas can help to shape the country’s stand on international meetings.
Francis Bisika, deputy director general at Macra, said it was vital that the regulatory body should continue to engage stakeholders to confront challenges within the sector.
Bisika said Macra recognises the important role communication plays in economic growth.
“Macra is doing everything possible to make sure that there is efficient use of the spectrum, the very lifeline of all communication services in the country,” he said.
According to Macra director of telecommunications services, Lloyd Momba, only 40 percent of the Malawi population use ICT, mainly through cell phones.
Currently, Malawi is chairing the preparatory process for WRC-15 for the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region. WRC-15 is expected to pass resolutions on the agreed agenda items.