According to Network World, more than USD4 million has been set aside for rural infrastructure development in Zambia by the government. In his state of the nation address on 8 September, acting president Rupiah Banda stressed that the government was working to develop the telecoms sector in the country following concerns voiced by the Zambia Consumer Association (ZACA) that the market was at risk of collapsing due to declining consumer confidence and poor quality of service. ‘The government will make sure that it develops the telecom sector because it is vital in the development of the country,’ Banda said.
In related news, the Communications and Transport Minister, Dora Siliya, claimed that the government deliberately restricted mobile phone service providers from obtaining licences for the international gateway for security reasons, online news source AllAfrica is reporting. Ms Siliya is reported to have told parliament that the ZMK62 billion (USD18.3 million) licence fee had been set to protect the nation’s security.