Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) says government is targeting a 50 percent penetration of information communication technologies (ICTs) in the country by 2020.
Macra director general Charles Nsaliwa said this in an interview in Lilongwe on the sidelines of the Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa (Crasa) annual general meeting.
He also said the regulatory body remains unsatisfied with the quality of ICT services provided in the country.
“Our recent survey has shown that penetration of ICT is well over 35 percent right now in terms of usage of voice, data or Internet technologies. The main challenge is the end user terminal in terms of having many people with the handsets.
“By 2020, we should be able to cross the 50 percent mark of ICT penetration. Although this depends on the level of economic growth in the country, we want to achieve that,” said Nsaliwa.
He said despite the country’s laws providing for stiff penalties against those who underperform on their service provision, Macra has not enforced them because it does not have the means of verifying actual performances of operators.
Macra board chairperson Martha Kwataine said customers continue complaining about high tariffs on usage of mobile phone networks. She said there is need for ICT regulators to work cordially with operators for the public good.
“The relationship between ICT regulators and operators is not the boss-servant one. Regulators need operators to do their job while operators need regulators to create a good environment for them to do their business,” said Kwataine.