Somalia’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has officially kick-started its formal consultation process for regulations and other documents aimed at regulating the ICT sector.
In his opening remarks, Abdi Sheikh Ahmed, General Manager of NCA, said the consultation is a process the regulator will formally go through every time it wants to introduce regulations and seek public comment before they are adopted. Introducing the regulations, Mr. Ahmed said NCA started with the priority regulations and documents, namely Rules of Procedures to interact with NCA, Numbering Regulation, Interconnection Regulation and Public Notice, Spectrum and Service Provider (Telecom Company), Somalia Frequency Allocation Table, and Type Approval guidelines. “We understand regulator is a new concept in Somalia, so does introducing regulations developed by a regulator. Therefore we are not only inviting comments from operators, but also want the general public to actively participate in our consultation process,” Mr. Ahmed added.
The State Attorney General, H. E. Osman Ghuled, and Chair of National Assembly Committee on ICT, Hon. Khalid Abdulkadir, both applauded the regulator for taking a bold step in developing regulations aimed at implementing the Act.
Minister of Information, H. E. Dahir Ghelle and State Minister of Finance, H. E. Mohamoud Ibrahim, also acknowledged the huge work that has been accomplished in a short span of time and assured their ministries will closely work with NCA in the areas of mutual interest for all institutions.
In his closing remarks, H. E. Abdi Ashur Hassan, minister for Post, Telecom and Technology, thanked the leadership, board of directors and staff of NCA for successfully establishing an institution that is now ready to take its due role in regulating the sector.
The Minister added this sector is of utmost importance for the government because of its potential multiplier effect on all sectors of the economy. “We hope once this sector is regulated it will be a win-win situation for all: investors will have assurances for their investment instead of the current chaos in the market, consumers will have better services such as interconnected mobile networks instead of carrying several mobile phones, and finally government revenue from the sector will increase through taxation and other charges, which will also help us in reinvesting through infrastructure and universal access fund,” said the minister.
The event was attended by representatives from all stakeholders, including telecom operators like NationLink, Hormuud, SomTel, Golis, SomNet, and SomLink; ISPs; Somalia Bankers Association and its members; local registrars; university associations; Digital TV operators; and representatives from relevant ministries.