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Zambia to offer telecom investors lucrative deal

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Zambia has intensified its efforts to lure telecom investors by introducing one licence for a range on ICT services. This has seen the Southern African nation join Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa in providing unified licences.

Geoffrey Lungwangwa, Minister of Communication and Transport told the Zambian Parliament last week that the country’s new telecom bill would attract foreign investment in the telecom sector and would protect the rights and interests of service providers and consumers.


Computerworld reported that several international service providers were wary of investing in the country because of restrictive license conditions and this new bill was bound to attract foreign interest.

Among the things the bill is seeking to accomplish is the promotion of competition and efficiency among service providers, research, ICT equipment manufacturing and the use of new technologies including 3G services and WiMax.

Several African countries are now focusing on the provision of data, Internet backbone and video conferencing in addition to voice services through harmonization of license procedures. “The bill is seeking legal framework on how to develop and sustain effective communication and social development,” Lungwangwa said. Lungwangwa said the enhancement of communications would help stimulate development in various sectors such as e-health, education and governance.

Effective telecommunication, Lungwangwa said, will narrow the gap between rural and urban populations. Lungwangwa also said the enhancement of communications would help stimulate development in various sectors such as e-health, education and governance.

The bill further gives ZICTA power to determine a system for promoting the widespread availability and usage of electronic communication networks throughout Zambia by encouraging the installation of communication networks in rural and underserved areas.

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