Somali telecoms law receives parliamentary approval

18 Aug 2017

Somalia’s Federal Parliament last week unanimously approved the National Communications Act, which aims to establish the legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks for the country’s thriving telecoms sector, reports Horn Observer. The legislation had been submitted by the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Technology last month, following consultations with various stakeholders, including regional states, telecoms operators and ISPs. The new law, which calls for the creation of a telecoms regulatory authority, aims to protect the rights of operators and consumers, tackle cybercrime and encourage more participation by private sectors in developing the sector. The National Communications Act still requires the approval of the Upper House, followed by the the president, before it is enacted into law.

Commenting on the development, Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Technology, Abdi Ashur Hassan, said: ‘We recognise the tremendous and increasing impact that the telecoms sector has on the advancement of our economy and society. This Bill is a major breakthrough for the Somali people and the telecommunications sector in particular. It has been long promised, and we are indeed proud, to present the Bill for debate and passage by this honourable House.’

Meanwhile, local news reports from Somaliland claim that the autonomous region has warned Somalia about the new National Communications Act. ‘Somalia’s telecoms minister recently announced that their telecoms law will have authority over our telecoms sector. Somaliland is an independent country with its own constitution, legislature and laws,’ The National cited Somaliland’s Telecoms Minister Mustafe Farah Abrar as saying at a press conference.