The government of Malawi is aiming to increase access to internet services from the current level of 14% of the population to 80% by 2026. ITWeb reports that the plan is one of the targets of the Malawi Digital Economy Strategy (2021-2026), which has been prepared by the National Planning Commission (NPC). In a bid to make internet access more affordable, the government intends to phase out the 10% excise duty on data and SMS tariff purchases, which was introduced in July 2015, as well as the 3.5% levy imposed by the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) on the revenue of ICT service providers. It also wants to establish a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to build a backbone from Nacara in Mozambique to the Malawian capital Lilongwe.
The government said access to affordable internet will enable the country to protect the environment while achieving urbanisation and industrialisation in line with the new Malawi 2063 (MW2063) vision.