Cabinet approves draft ICT bill


Dr Ignace Gatare

The Cabinet recently approved the revised draft Information Communication Technology (ICT) Bill that provides a comprehensive legal, regulatory and institutional framework that shall allow Rwanda to adapt to the global development of ICT.

Currently there is no legal framework that governs the whole ICT sector including the new development of technologies and international best practices.

A law enacted in 2001, regulates telecommunications networks and services, but it does not take into consideration the convergence of technologies and neither does it address all legal issues relating to ICT.

The revised draft law is composed of ICT legal framework, electronic communication, information society, broadcasting and postal services.

Addressing members of the media yesterday at the Prime Minister’s offices, Dr. Ignace Gatare the Minister in the Office of the President in charge of ICT, said that the revised draft ICT bill is out.

“The law is timely and highly needed since it comes at a moment when both the government and the private sector have made significant investment and efforts to consolidate our ICT infrastructure,” he said.

Gatare added that the bill will ensure fair and equitable competition amongst service providers and promote rapid growth of new services and applications.

“The ICT draft bill provides for a new licensing framework that creates new business opportunities, and this will allow the operators to provide all types of services through unified license,” he noted.

He explained that the law was drafted in a spirit of harmonization with EAC and COMESA ICT laws and regulations while complying with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) guidelines and recommendations.

It will also ensure that the interests of consumers are protected, including cyber security, privacy, and protection from inappropriate content.

The revised bill will establish Rwanda as a major global centre and hub for communications and multimedia information and content services.

The bill is going to be tabled before Parliament before it is enacted into law.