More Africa NewsNamibia: Telecom regulator prepares ground for SIM card registration

July 19, 2022by myles0

In recent years, mobile fraud has developed in the African digital space. Several countries on the continent have already put in place processes to combat this scourge. Other countries like Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa want to follow in their footsteps.

The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) is reassuring people about the benefits of SIM card registration. According to Emilia Nghikembua, Director General of CRAN, this mandatory operation should notably help to fight cybercrime in the country and improve the effective regulation of the national technological landscape. 

It was in October 2021 that the Namibian government announced its intention to launch the national campaign to register SIM cards in accordance with the “Communications Act” published by the government in March of the same year. In June, the regulator launched the national campaign to raise user awareness of SIM card registration, which will continue until 31 December. For the moment, the campaign is encountering the reluctance of the population.

The actual registration operation will start from January 1, 2023 and will last 12 months, after which unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated. In the meantime, the incumbent MTC has started an optional SIM card registration campaign for its customers. Once launched, Namibia will join several African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Lesotho that have developed and implemented telecom subscriber registration policies. South Africa is currently preparing a similar process. These initiatives reflect the ambition of governments to tackle the upsurge in cybercrime cases across the continent.

According to the regulator, the registration of SIM cards should create a comprehensive database that will allow effective regulation of the sector in order to promote transparency, encourage competition, implement fair pricing regimes and ensure quality of service in the interest of the user. 

Source: Agence Ecofin

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