Rwanda Enacts New ICT Regulations

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On June 18, 2016, the Rwandan parliament adopted the Information and Communication Technology Act No. 24/2016, which aims to create a policy and regulatory framework. The new Act applies to the  electronic communications, information corporations, broadcasting and  postal sector.

With  310 sections, the new  Act on ICT aims to  establish a framework for licensing and regulation for the ICT activities. To this end, it  creates and strengthens the relevant institutions, endowing them with the necessary powers and procedures in order to make Rwanda a major center and a global hub for communications and information services.

This Act institutes a regulatory authority, called to operate with independence, proportionality, impartiality and transparency.

The ICT regulatory authority is also responsible for resolving all competition concerns related to ICTs through the promotion of fair competition in the provision of electronic communications services. It may also, if necessary, decide to interconnect the different networks.

In addition, the Minister having ICT in his / her attributions, in consultation with the ICT regulatory authority, may determine the general conditions and tariff principles in interconnection contracts or license rights for radio communications. It also has also the power to suspend and restrict the use of networks and services in the event of abuse to protect the public from threats to the national security and public health.

The Act No.24/2016 of 18 June 2016 on ICT is entitled to  determine the conditions to be fulfilled and the information to be provided to obtain a license by  anyone wishing to build and operate a network or to provide electronic communications services.

The radiocommunication license so granted may be canceled in the event of an infringement of an essential condition relating to the obtaining of the license or for failure to pay the fees for the radio license or the reservation of the frequencies. However, it may be amended in particular  to comply with the provisions of a new law or by any change in the rules applicable to electronic communications markets in rural and urban areas.

The new Act on the ICT organizes the cession and transmission of the telecommunication and broadcasting. They are  subject to the prior authorization of the regulatory authority.

Furthermore, it derives from the analysis of the Act that it prohibits any abusive use of the public electronic communications network, in particular by sending messages or other seriously offensive way, obscene, indecent, threatening or false elements. The  use of a public electronic communications network for the purpose of causing nuisance, inconvenience, or unnecessary anxiety is strictly prohibited.

In addition, within the contexte of regulating the interconnection, the new Act on ICT  penalizes intentional acts of access or interception of services or modification of data without the required authorization. The same applies to any illegal possession of a computer system, peripherals and data, theft, fraud and counterfeiting related to computing as well as the disclosure of the password

To read the full text of this law, please click hereavailable in French only
Should you need its translation, please write to translation@juriafrique.com

Author 

JIMMYJimmy Mafamvula Nkele
Lawyer of Gombe
Practice: Business Law; Right of associations; Litigation Practice; banks; insurance; land and property rights; Practice contracts.
Education: Degree (5 years) in economic and social law at the Free University of Kinshasa.
Office: Emery Mukendi Wafwana & Associates, SC-P
Homepage: click here




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