Information and communication technology minister Peya Mushelenga said the review of various information and communication technology policies and their possible consolidation into a uniform national ICT policy is on the cards.
Mushelenga made the remarks when he motivated the ministry’s budget last week in the National Assembly.
The ministry received over N$354 million from the 2021/2022 national budget to carry out its core mandate of coordinating, managing and disseminating government information, as well as promoting the use and development of ICT infrastructure, policies and strategies, among others.
An amount of N$8.7 million was allocated to information and communication technology development to formulate, review and assess the implementation of laws, policies and strategies about ICT.
As such, Mushelenga said the development of the digital strategy was approved by Cabinet last year, and work has since commenced on the said strategy to propel Namibia to an informed society with a knowledge-based economy.
Despite several high-profile data security incidents in Namibia, no particular policies, frameworks or strategies deal directly with cybercrime, cybersecurity, or data privacy.
Namibia recognises the right to privacy as a fundamental human right in its constitution, and the government is currently drafting a data protection policy to protect citizens against abuse of their data, and to regulate extraterritorial data transfers.
At the moment, personal data is not specifically defined under Namibian law.
Equally, the collection and processing of personal data are also not addressed in Namibian law, while there is no data protection authority in Namibia, and no requirement to appoint data protection officers.
Furthermore, Namibia has no restrictions for international data transfers, and there are no security or breach notification requirements in the country.
Mushelenga said work on the Cybercrime Bill and the Data Protection Bill that have been approved in principle by Cabinet is thus underway, and efforts to have them tabled in the National Assembly during this financial year are underway.
“It is also under this programme that the coordination of ICT infrastructural development is undertaken. To this end, it is evident that the importance of ICT infrastructural development cannot be overstressed, hence our continued efforts to improve the establishment of such infrastructure in partnership with private sector players,” he noted. -firstname.lastname@example.org