Ministry pushes data protection, cybercrime bills

Peya Mushelenga

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has placed the formulation and progression of the data protection and cybercrime bills at the helm of its annual strategic initiatives.

During a strategic retreat at Swakopmund last week, information minister Peya Mushelenga highlighted these legislative measures as foundational to the ministry’s objectives for the year, committing to safeguarding digital rights and enhancing cybersecurity.

The discussion on the data protection and cybercrime bills was a focal point, with the minister emphasising the importance of these laws in protecting citizens’ data from misuse and safeguarding institutions and individuals against cyberthreats.

“We have a mammoth task ahead of us to ensure that these propositions sail through the parliament. Our people need guarantees that their data will not end up in the wrong hands,” he said.

Moreover, the ministry is poised to finalise the SIM card registration process, aiming to dismantle anonymity among users inclined to criminal activities.

“This is an exercise which has been done in many countries around the world. Only three countries in Africa, including Namibia, have not completed this exercise.

“We want to ensure there are no anonymous users hiding behind anonymity to commit crime,” Mushelenga said.

Leadership and capacity building were also highlighted, with the minister advocating strategic direction and the effective utilisation of the training budget to enhance staff performance, and consequently the ministry’s output.

“We should set deadlines for ourselves. Activities should be allocated to specific persons, ensuring accountability and progress,” he said.
“The strategic retreat, in this ‘Year of Expectation’ as declared by the president, demands that we manage the resources made available to the ministry prudently.

“It is imperative that we operate within the provisions and expectations set forth, aiming at increased operational efficiency across all offices.”

The retreat’s purpose was to assess the current position of the ministry and to formulate an annual roadmap in alignment with its two-year strategic plan.

This session was a clarion call for action to all ministry staff members to refine their performance appraisals and align their efforts with the ministry’s overarching goals.

“We are expected to have improved decision-making that is well coordinated across all branches and divisions,” Mushelenga said.

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