From The Namibian newspaper of February 11, 1999
Govt declares 'open season' in telecommunications field
TELECOM Namibia will face tough competition from foreign companies
following a decision by Cabinet to open up the telecommunications playing
Namibia's telecommunications parastatal has been "protected" so far by
provisions which prevented competitors from entering the market.
According to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Ben Amathila,
this had been to allow the company to find its feet and establish itself as
a recognised force.
"By the year 2000 we should facilitate an open sky so that other companies
will be able to come in," Amathila told a media Wednesday.
He said the Cabinet had adopted the telecommunications policy and
regulatory framework which he had submitted.
The policy will open the domestic telecommunications market to private
international companies to start competing with Telecom.
He said as the information and telecommunications sector was a
fast-developing and changing sector which needed continual assessment, his
Ministry had initiated the process of developing a policy and regulatory
framework in collaboration with the Ministry of Works, Transport and
They have been assisted financially by the Swedish International
Development Agency (Sida) since 1995.
"The Policy and regulatory framework has as its aim the socio-economic
development of the Namibian people and its business sector and it must be
flexible and evolving and should be instituted as such from the beginning."
In addition, the primary aim of the framework was to provide a broad,
reliable and efficient supply of communication services at an affordable
cost for the nation, the Minister said.
It would also add a national balance to develop telecommunication
infrastructure where needed while ensuring universal access for all
citizens to basic telephone services at affordable prices.
Further, it would develop the sector to achieve its potential for national
growth while promoting regional telecommunications co-operation to promote
efficiency in economical and industrial affairs across the borders.
Amathila said market structures, financing and ownership of
telecommunication infrastructure, and regulation would be used to manage
the process by facilitating the flow of investment funds from foreign and
domestic, non-subscriber sources.
The service market would also be opened up selectively to different degrees
February 11, 1999
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