BUJUMBURA December 13th (ABP) – The Cabinet met on Wednesday December 8, 2021 in the Ntare Rushatsi House under the chairmanship of the Head of State, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, with nine items on the agenda, according to the press release from the General Secretariat of the State.
Among the files analyzed is, among others, the bill on the prevention and repression of cybercrime in Burundi. The press release indicates that despite the advantages offered by these information and communication technologies, the economy, privacy and social interactions are threatened by a new form of crime that specialists have agreed to call “cybercrime” which is “any illegal behavior involving electronic operations targeting security and the data they process”. Currently, Burundi does not have a specific law on the fight against this cybercrime, according to the press release.
The Burundi Criminal Code has only four articles on computer crime. This is a loophole that is detrimental to the administration of justice in the area of cybercrime. This situation places Burundi among the preferred targets for this form of crime which can originate from abroad or from within the country, he said. It is therefore necessary for Burundi to introduce a law that will make it possible to fight against this type of crime in order to supplement the existing criminal system.
The Cabinet had analyzed that bill and had given guidelines for it to be reworked. After analyzing the reworked bill, the Cabinet noted that the concerns that had been expressed were answered, they passed it. The Cabinet also analyzed the Draft Decree amending Decree No. 100/186 of October 16, 2017, on the establishment and the management of the Universal Service Fund for Information and Communication Technologies in Burundi.
According to the press release, since its establishment in October 2017, the Universal Service Fund for Information and Communication Technologies has not achieved the expected results, namely “financing activities related to universal service”. The effective operationalization of that Fund requires the revision of its legal framework for its organizational transformation. Among other innovations, there is the introduction of a Board of Directors among the governing bodies of the Fund as well as the establishment of a management unit headed by a director.
Certain provisions of the decree in force have been reformulated in order to clarify the scope of the universal service, to streamline the process of validating the Fund’s action plans and projects and to improve its performance. After discussion and debate, the bill was passed with recommendations. At the level of the Board of Directors, the vice presidency will be ensured by the Executive Secretary of SETIC…. inserting a provision that speaks of support staff with a specific number of staff, specifying that the expert in charge of information and communication technologies act as an interim in the event of the Director’s absence, specifying that the operating costs of the Fund come from State subsidies. The Fund should also develop accessibility for young people to information and communication technologies and terminals.