The COVID-19 pandemic has affected different countries at different paces, forcing industry players and regulators, along with governments, to take action to support national strategies aimed at guaranteeing continuity of essential services, protecting lives and reducing the negative impact on the economy.
Regulators have taken a number of steps so that the continuity of services can be guaranteed – how might these actions inform and facilitate future modernisation of current regulatory frameworks? Will industry obligations continue? What does the ‘new normal’ look like from a policy, regulatory and commercial perspective?
In the first of this series of regional discussions, regulators and industry policy makers from Southern Africa discussed the initiatives taken in response to the pandemic, particularly relating to spectrum availability, digital infrastructure, health & education services, cybersecurity, and combating disinformation. They highlighted the unique challenges across the continent and also innovative responses – particularly involving mobile technology – developed in Africa for Africa.
Recording of the webinar held on 17 Septeber 2020: Regulation in times of pandemic and lessons for the future: African responses – Southern AfricaDownload
Written report for IIC Webinar: Regulation in times of pandemic and lessons for the future: African responses - Southern AfricaDownload
Caecilia Nyamutswa is a Legal Practitioner who is admitted to the Zimbabwean Bar, with extensive experience in the Telecommunications and Banking fields. She is the current Legal Director for the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) and is responsible for all Telecommunication related Legal matters and drafting legislation.
Prior to that, Ms Nyamutswa had held positions as the Head of Legal and Company secretary for standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe and Head of legal and Investigations for ZB Financial holdings. She is current Rapporteur for Question 5/1 on ICTs for rural and remote areas. She has participated in the activities of the ITU Development Sector since 2012. Before joining the telecommunication and Banking fields, she had practiced law for ten years. Her experience has seen her serving on various corporate Boards in Zimbabwe.
Ms Nyamutswa holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Science in International Relations (MSc-IR), a Bachelor of Law Honours Degree (HBL) and a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB), all from the University of Zimbabwe.
Adv. Dimakatso Qocha’s role at ICASA is to ensure that while fulfilling the mandate of Regulating in the Public Interest, the regulations passed must enable South Africans to meaningfully participate in the ICT ecosystem.
Adv. Qocha is an ICT Policy and Regulatory Specialist. Her career in the ICT sector began in 2004 at Sentech. She was part of the regulatory team that contributed to the promulgation of the Electronic Communications Act and the ICASA amendment Act.
Adv. Qocha later joined the National Association of Broadcasters as Deputy Executive Director. During her tenure, she was involved in the formulation of broadcasting policy and regulatory submissions to the Regulator and Parliament, that changed the landscape of the broadcasting industry. She was further instrumental and party to negotiations on needletime royalties between broadcasters and collecting societies.
Adv. Qocha served on the board of the Road Accident Fund, as well as a member of the appeals committee of the Advertising Standards Authority of SA. Currently, she serves on the board of the National Film and Video Foundation and the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. She is a member of the Institute of Directors of South Africa.
Adv. Qocha holds an LLB degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Interpretation and Drafting of Contracts. She was admitted as an Advocate in 2006.
Oyeronke Oyetunde joined the MTN Group as Head of Regulatory Affairs in November 2017 and, in that capacity, has been actively supporting the business, both at MTN Group and MTN’s operating companies.
Ms Oyetunde has over 20 years’ experience in the regulatory & legal environments. Having worked as a lawyer in private practice in Nigeria specialising in business advisory and regulatory services, and TMT, Ms Oyetunde joined MTN Nigeria as a Regulatory Affairs Advisor in August 2004. Her portfolio expanded within the regulatory sphere of the business as she rose through the ranks to become the General Manager of Regulatory Affairs of MTN in August 2012. Her responsibilities included rendering, coordinating and providing general regulatory strategy, advice and support to the business. Her substantial contributions have helped to establish MTN as one of the foremost respected thought leaders in the Nigerian ICT industry particularly as regards policy formulation and regulation.
Ms Oytunde holds an LLB (Honours) from the University of London in the United Kingdom. She is also a Barrister-at-Law, having been called to both the Nigerian and British Bars.
Salomão David Cumbula is the head of research and development at the Communications Regulatory Authority of Mozambique and a Researcher at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy, Trieste).
From 2015 to 2020 Mr Cumbula has been researching TV-White Spaces and IoT as a mean to provide universal access to Broadband in rural areas and M2M. During the research period, David has provided insightful ideas and perspectives for the deployment of TVWS, working with international and national organisations to deploy infrastructure in the South, central and northern Mozambique. David has has received several merit awards which include the Dynamic spectrum alliance Award for Innovation in Access Policies.
Mr Cumbula has a PhD in Communication Sciences awarded by the Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland, Lugano). His research interests include: New media technology, co-design, Digital Literacy, Information Technology in rural area, eLearning, Intercultural Communication, Telecommunication infrastructure, IoT, Big Data and Telecommunication Regulation.
Takalani Netshitenzhe is the Chief Officer and Executive Director of External Affairs for Vodacom South Africa, and Chairperson of the Vodacom Foundation.
Ms Netshitenzhe is passionate about corporate social responsibility, which enables her to participate as a panelist in various platforms including the United Nations.
Ms Netshitenzhe has previously spent time as a part-time lecturer in Administrative Law at the University of Venda and has extensive knowledge in public policy development, law writing, diplomacy, national security and cybersecurity.
Ms Netshitenzhe has over 20 years experience working in government as a lawyer and policy advisor in the security cluster, whilst employed in the Ministry for Intelligence Services; as Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Hungary and Croatia; and as CEO of Electronic Communications Security (Pty) (Ltd), a state owned entity that was established under the then National Intelligence Agency.
Ms Netshitenzhe has received several merit awards which include the 2012 Hungarian Eotvos (ELTE) University commemorative medal and certificate for relentless efforts to promote academic and cultural collaboration between South Africa and Hungary, and deepening bilateral relations between the two countries as Ambassador to Hungary. She received the 2007 Intelligence Services Woman of the Year award for meritorious contribution to the South African intelligence policy and legal dispensation. In 2019 Taki was a finalist and received a recognition certificate for the CSI award for uplifting communities with ICTs from the Information Technology Professionals South Africa (ITTPSA).
During the time Ms Netshitenzhe has been Chairperson, the Vodacom Foundation has been voted the Trialogue top CSI entity for three consecutive years by other corporates. She was a judge for the 2019 Global Citizen Business Leader award.
Ms Netshitenzhe was admitted as an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa in 1996 and is currently the Read to Lead Ambassador for the Department of Basic Education.
Ms Netshitenzhe holds an executive education certificate on cybersecurity from Harvard School of Governance; a Cyber security Post-graduate certificate obtained cum laude; a BJuris degree; LLB, Higher Diploma in company Law and a Masters in Security Studies.
Tebogo Mmoshe is the Director Compliance and Monitoring at Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), the position she assumed in 2018. She has 18 years of experience in the Accounting, Auditing, Risk Management and Compliance field in various sectors of Botswana. Her experience spans 7 years in the financial sector and 11 years in communications regulation as a member of BOCRA.
Ms Mmoshe also has extensive knowledge on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery and spearheaded the development of Guidelines for Communication Sector under regulation of BOCRA. She is currently Chairing the BOCRA Covid-19 taskforce.
Ms Mmoshe was admitted as a Chartered Accountant in 2006. She is a Fellow Member of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA). At National level, she was appointed as one of the founding Board Members of Botswana Geoscience Institute in 2016.
Ms Mmoshe was awarded an MBA by University of Derby in 2013.
Thabo Makenete is General Manager, Technical Regulatory Affairs, MultiChoice, in charge of regulatory and policy issues that are technical in nature, mainly in South Africa, but also across the continent.
Mr Makenete has over 20 years’ experience in the ICT sector, focused mainly on broadcasting and telecommunications. Currently GM: Technical Regulatory at MultiChoice, Mr Makenete is also Deputy Chairperson of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Technical Committee; ICASA’s Joint Spectrum Advisory Group and various SABS Technical Committees; The Digital Migration Advisory Council and the DCDT’s COVID-19 PMO.
Steve Song is a researcher, entrepreneur, and advocate for cheaper, more pervasive access to communication infrastructure. He is a 2019 Fellow at the Mozilla Foundation. He is also a research associate with the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC) where he works to expand the use of wireless technologies through shared spectrum strategies. His strong technical knowledge and ability to communicate technical concepts to non-expert audiences have made his blog (http://manypossibilities.net) a popular destination for anyone interested in African telecommunications and Internet issues. Since 2009, Steve has been actively maintaining public maps of undersea and terrestrial fibre optic infrastructure in Africa. Mr Song is also the founder of Village Telco, a social enterprise that manufactures low-cost WiFi mesh VoIP technologies to deliver affordable voice and Internet service in under-serviced areas. Previously, Mr Song worked at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), where he led the organisation’s ICT4D program in Africa, funding research into the transformational potential of ICTs.
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