MACRA launches 5 year strategic plan on ICT

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has launched 2016-2020 Strategic Plan with a commitment to ensuring that there is universal access to and usage of ICT services in Malawi.

The launch of the five year strategic direction took place in Blantyre on Wednesday night in the presence of all key stakeholders in the ICT industry.

Speaking during the launch, MACRA Board Chairperson, Mervis Mangulenje said the development of the new strategic plan has been necessitated by the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) 2 which identifies ICT as a key factor in the development of the country’s economy.

Mangulenje said the plan aims to attain one of the strategy’s key thematic areas on infrastructure development which comprises ICT, media and communications.

She further said; “The MGDS 2 recognizes information as being a vital resource for all human kind throughout all stages of life. In implementing the plan, MACRA will focus on consolidating the successes it has achieved over the years.

“Despite several achievements made by MACRA, there are still several challenges to be addressed in this plan and these include low usage and adoption of electronic and online services.

“Others to be achieved through this strategy are lack of effective regulatory framework, high communication costs and high printing costs among others.

Mangulenje said the role of ICT in development cannot be overemphasized saying studies done by the World Bank estimate that economic growth rises by 1.3 percent for every increase of 10 percent in high speed internet connections.

Taking his turn, MACRA Director General, Godfrey Itaye said the strategic plan is vital to the success of not only MACRA but also entire ICT industry.

Itaye noted that Malawi may have innovative minds but without relevant regulatory framework and ICT infrastructure, the country cannot get anywhere hence the launch of the 5 year direction.

“The strategic plan has been developed using the Balanced Scorecard methodology and has been structured into four perspectives namely, customer and stakeholder engagement, internal process alignment, learning and growth and financing prudence and credibility.

“These perspectives are critical for achieving MACRA’s goal and vision and will provide a basis for evaluation of the authority’s performance by our stakeholders,” said Itaye.

In its 2010-2015 strategic plans, MACRA achieved 79 percent of their goals which had 7 strategic outcome and 29 outputs.

The 2016-2020 strategic direction that has been crafted in fulfillment of MACRA’s mandate to facilitate the development of ICT has 16 strategic objectives in four perspectives.

The new strategic plan will also be measuring MACRA’s staff performance from Director going down to a cleaner.

Source : Malawi News Agency