Government engages stakeholders on ETCA Regulations

Delegates pose for a photo during the stakeholder consultation meeting

The Public Private Partnership Commission (PPPC) under the Digital Malawi Project (DIGMAP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Digitalisation (MoID) and Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) hosted a hybrid public stakeholder consultation on drafted Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Regulations (ETCA Regulations) on Wednesday in Lilongwe to deliberate on the draft regulations before their submission to the authorities for further processing.

The drafted regulations are an expansion of the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which seeks to amend the Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act by repealing Part VII, aligning with the enactment of the Data Protection Bill, 2023.

The consultation meeting, which was highly patronized onsite and virtually brought together various stakeholders from the private and public sectors.

Speaking during the meeting, Deputy Director of Legal Services for MACRA Dan Chiwoni stressed the significance of the ETCA regulations in shaping Malawi’s digital landscape.

Chiwoni: These drafted regulations will play a crucial role

 “In this rapidly evolving digital era, these drafted regulations will play a crucial role in ensuring safe and secure electronic transactions, as well as maintaining the security, stability, and integrity of our digital infrastructure,” said Chiwoni.

Chiwoni further highlighted the need for collaborative efforts among stakeholders to establish a robust regulatory framework that encourages innovation while safeguarding the interests of all involved parties.

He applauded all stakeholders for their contributions during the meeting before soliciting further written submissions on the drafted regulations.

Chiwoni requested: “We are inviting written submissions on the drafted regulations. Please send them via before Wednesday, 6th of March 2024.”

Under the DIGMAP, the government contracted a consultant, McMillan and Keck, to draft and finalize the regulations.

During the meeting, representatives from the Consultant, Jason Blechman, and Steve Matenje presented the draft regulations, which were later followed up by invaluable input from the stakeholders.

The drafted regulations encompass Cyber Security Regulations, .mw ccTLD Regulations, and Cryptography and Certification Authorities Regulations.

The Cyber Security Regulations are meant to combat the escalating cyber threats that pose risks to the digital ecosystem.

The .mw ccTLD Regulations, on the other hand, will govern the management and administration of the country code Top-Level Domain, influencing the nation’s online identity and the accessibility of digital services.

Additionally, the Cryptography and Certification Authorities regulations aim to enhance trust and security in digital transactions and communications by defining the proper use of cryptographic tools and the roles of Certification Authorities

The consultation meeting underscores a collaborative effort between the government and stakeholders to formulate regulations that balance inclusivity, security, and effective administration in the digital sphere.