- …as NITA seeks to promote vibrant ICT ecosystem
The National Information Technology Agency (NITA) will start regulating the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector rigorously next year, Communications and Digitalisation Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has said.
“So, from January 2023 we are going to see a greater enforcement of the laws in this sector,” she said in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of NITA ICT Stakeholders’ forum themed Regulating ICT Businesses in Ghana; opportunities and challenges.
Established in 2008 by Act771 to regulate the provision of ICT, promote standards of efficiency and ensure high quality service as well as maintenance of the Register of Industry Players under the Electronic Transaction Act (Act 772), NITA has been operating along the periphery of ICT regulations for a long time.
And that will become a thing of the past beginning January 2023, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said, to ensure that globally acceptable standards govern the ICT ecosystem and professionals with the requisite certification and capacity to man the systems being deployed within the public and private sectors in order to put the ICT sector in the forefront of the country’s economic development and transformation.
“There’s a quiet revolution going on. We are not making noise, but the impact on the daily lives of people is being felt across the board – even for those who are non-literate. The benefits of these initiatives cannot be quantified, and it enjoins all of us to ensure we have a strong regulator that is ensuring the businesses thrive, and consumers receive value for their money on products, goods and services rendered by the industry,” she said.
She said the processes have begun to build NITA’s capacity, provide it with the needed resources and support to ensure it provides the cutting-edge and international best practices regulatory services to the ICT sector – so as to promote and ensure a vibrant ecosystem with opportunities for further growth of businesses and ease of doing business for citizens.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful further added that NITA, as the regulator, will also concentrate on protecting consumer interest in the ecosystem while monitoring compliance with contractual obligations to government, users and other legal regulatory requirements.
NITA’s duties under its renewed resolve to regulate the ICT space will cut across the industry from service providers, practitioners, infrastructure and operations to e-commerce, public sector ICT and public key infrastructure, she said.
On his part, the Director General of NITA, Richard Okyere-Fosu, said effective collaboration within government (other regulators), with the industry, academia, developing partners and the international community will ensure that the agency’s efforts to regulate the ICT sector will enable more opportunities, promote fair play, promote quality and standards, and help grow the sector for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Some of the regulatory verticals NITA has identified so far include ICT vendors or service providers, ICT professionals, commercial data centre providers, commercial cloud infrastructure providers, e-commerce providers, public sector ICT and public key infrastructure
NITA is currently working with different consultants and partners (such as Smart Africa, GIZ, World Bank Sponsored eTransform Project) under different projects in the development of regulations for the above-mentioned verticals, Mr. Okyere-Fosu said.
“At different stages in the development of specific regulations, we will engage the needed stakeholders within the sector to get their input. This will improve on acceptability and adherence when these regulations are rolled-out. We, therefore, entreat members of the community to stay in touch and be informed accordingly,” he added.