Malawian govt seeks views draft electronic legislation

Monday 1 October 2012 | 14:05 CET | News
The Malawian government is seeking input from individuals and institutions on the recently completed draft of Malawi's first ever electronic legislation, Biztechafrica reported. The office of President and Cabinet have announced that with the draft in place, Malawi will align its development agenda with a legally supported ICT platform. The government seeks to achieve this through the Privatisation Commission, a government unit implementing the 'Regional Communication Infrastructure Program – Malawi project' with funding from the World Bank.

The government says the main objective of the project is to improve the quality, availability, affordability and utilisation of broadband internet in Malawi. One of its sub-components is the drafting of an electronic legislation, which would be expected to create an adequate, enabling and favourable environment for ICT users.

It also hopes to provide the legal foundation to address internet-specific issues and challenges as well as protecting the public from cyber crime. The legislation will also guide in maintaining a secure space where data and intangible money could be stored, shared and legally and securely transferred.

The government hopes this piece of legislation will address the treatment of electronic evidence and develop an information society. The draft legislation has 62 sections that deal with ten major areas, including legal recognition of electronic messages, which does not exist as such in the current legal framework in the country.

The draft bill says any written document and any signature should be possibly created and stored in an electronic manner. The draft also states that electronic documents should have the same legal probative force as paper documents.

The second part of the draft bills looks at proceedings applicable to the conclusion of electronic contracts and spells out that rules regulating the conclusion of contracts need to be specified and clarified in order to ensure security with respect to electronic transactions.


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