BUJUMBURA October 30th (ABP) – MPs met on October 26, 2023, in plenary session, to analyze and adopt the bill on the Electronic and Postal Communications Code.
In her explanatory memorandum, the Minister of Communication, Information Technologies and Media, Mrs. Léocadie Ndacayisaba explained that this bill is part of a perspective of giving effect to the orientations of the national policy for the development of information and communication technologies, adopted by the Cabinet meeting at its meeting of July 13, 2011.
She indicated that that policy envisages improving the adaptation of the political, legal, regulatory and regulatory framework to the era of convergence of technologies to achieve specific objectives. That involves revising the law on telecommunications, drawing inspiration from best regional and international practices and also taking into account the convergence of technologies. It is also to put in place legislation on the postal sector which establishes the liberalization and regulation of the activities of that sector; and to extend the missions of the ARCT to the regulation of the postal sector and increase its management independence to make it a convergent and independent regulator.
Regarding the postal sector, Mrs. Ndacayisaba said that it is currently experiencing changes linked in particular to technological developments, the emergence of new postal services and the entry of new private operators in the absence of regulation. It therefore appeared necessary to put in place a legal environment to ensure fair competition in that sector, she added.
According to her, Decree-Law No. 1/11 of September 4, 1977 laying down organic provisions on telecommunications which governs the electronic communications sector, does not guarantee the legal certainty of those involved in the sector of related activities. Said decree-law is silent on the regulation of new services currently operated in our country and on the questions of unified licenses and renewal of licenses upon the expiry of concession contracts, electronic transactions, confidentiality and data protection. personal character.
Mrs. Ndacayisaba specified that the law of October 10, 1962 on postal administration establishes the monopoly of operation of the postal sector by the National Post Office (RNP).
Thus, she underlined, the major reasons which militate in favor of the adoption of that bill relating to the Electronic and Postal Communications Code are the updating of the legal and regulatory framework and the mode of regulation in the sectors of electronic communications and posts, the regulation of the postal sector through the establishment of an updated legal and regulatory framework, the promotion and securing of national and foreign investments, the maximization of the collection of tax revenues and fees, the creation direct and indirect employment, as well as the production of statistics relating to postal activities.
The minister responsible for technologies also indicated that the bill establishes major innovations because it places in the same regulatory institution the electronic communications sector and the postal sector, defines the legal regimes applicable to the communications sectors electronics and posts, takes into account technological developments and the possibility of issuing unified licenses thanks to the convergence of technologies, establishes the liberalization and regulation of the postal sector, regulates competition and provides for the establishment of platforms relating to e-government.
For further clarification, the deputies wanted to know the standards for the installation of antennas, referring to human health. When installing the antennas, she reacted, the operators respect the essential requirements including the protection of the health and safety of people, the protection of the environment and the consideration of environmental constraints. town planning and regional development.
She added that the regulator takes appropriate measures to minimize the risks and that the ARCT has a tool for measuring exposure of the field and the powers emitted by the antennas to reassure itself that the levels are not outside the limits. standards to be respected for the health of the people.
Concerning the slow connection which can make it difficult to open documents received electronically, Minister Ndacayisaba indicated that several factors are at the origin of that situation, notably the climate, the few megas who cannot open documents bulky and the location of the consumer in relation to the antenna.
Concerning e-government, Mrs. Ndacayisaba explained that it is a government platform which brings together all the applications necessary to enable the provision of public services online in all sectors. She noted that the terms and procedures for setting up that cyber-government are, among other things, a national digitalization steering committee, a regulatory text which sets the norms and standards in that area and a national Datacenter infrastructure.
After analysis and discussions on the various amendments, that bill was adopted unanimously.