The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) Board announced the appointment of Patrick Mutimushi as the new Director General(CEO) to take the mantle of driving Zambia’s lucrative Telecoms industry through regulation.
This is a hot role as it involves dealing with powerful and mostly multinational interests and balancing this with the needs of the ordinary consumers in the Zambian market. Mutimushi, who holds a Bachelor of Telecommunications and Electronics Engineer from the University of Zambia (UNZA) and a Masters of Science in Operational Communications, takes over from Margaret Mudenda, whose contract ended in June this 2017.
In a statement made available to ZBT, ZICTA Board Chairperson Emmanuel Musonda expressed hope that Mutimushi’s appointment, his vast experience in the ICT sector will help drive the Telecoms regulatory authority to a new level.
“We have no doubt that his exceptional regulatory expertise, proficiently built over the years through practice and learning, developing unique regulatory skill and his international [exposure] will be a critical ingredient in the ICT regulatory agency,’’ Musonda said.
Mutimushi has served ZICTA for over 15 years of which 10 years have been at senior management level.
But the task at hand is huge considering that Data and Mobile Internet Services remain relatively expensive, when compared to countries across the African region and for the majority of Zambians to afford. The price point for Voice services have relatively been on a downward trajectory but more can be done.
Below are the top 5 score card compiled by ZBT analysts that are likely to define success for the new ZICTA Boss:
1. Reduction in cost of data and internet services for individuals and SME users. Zambia has one of the highest rates for data/internet rates in the region.
2. Enhanced market competition in the Telecoms sector by liberalization and allowing more credible players into the Zambian market
3. Zambia as a country is currently not recognized on international apps store e.g. Apple Store has no provision for Zambian addresses
4. ZICTA will need to work with the revenue authority (ZRA) to plug and to tax online payments made using Zambian money purchases for online retailers. Need to plug obscene and destructive online materials to safeguard Zambian culture.
5. Support the provision of cost effective Solar chargers and boosting of the rural Telecoms network coverage across the country to drive internet penetration to the best in class in Africa.