Some reforms are underway world-wide in the communications sector driven
by rapid technological
innovation, increasing globalisation, stiffer competition and huge capital requirements. For any country to
achieve rapid economic development, it is imperative to improve communication services.
In order to meet the aspirations of the general public and accelerate
improvement of communication services in
Malawi,, the Government has decided to deregulate both the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors and
provide a framework for the liberalisation of the whole communications sector.
I am pleased to state that this document, the Communication Sector Policy
Statement, now in your
possession, forms and constitutes Government policy on communication for the country. The Policy Statement
represents the culmination of an extensive process of consultations within and outside the country and is a
product of multisectoral interaction among several players from the Government, the private sector and the general
public. In a democracy, such consultations are of fundamental importance in order to ensure that the policy
enjoys the widest possible support of, and acceptance by, the people and stakeholders on whom it
is envisaged will make an appropriate impact.
The policy has taken into account full recognition of the dynamic changes
which radically affect the roles of
'communication in the social and economic development of Malawi. It will be necessary to review the policy
periodically in order to take into account and accommodate unpredictable rapid changes in technology,,
trade liberalisation, globalisation and social attitude.
In the meantime,, government is putting in place a full range of modern
services which should be accessible by
all the population of Malawi. Those living in the rural areas should at least have access to basic communication
services. The situation at the moment is that 80% of the telephone lines are available to only 20% of the
population of Malawi living in urban areas. The majority of the rural population is left without adequate telephone
lines. This situation will be improved.
Lastly,, I would like to thank all the people who, in one way or another,
contributed towards the formulation and
development of this policy statement. They are too many to list all of them by name. However, my special thanks go to
stakeholders for their invaluable contribution towards the formulation of the policy, members of the
Task Force for their assistance in drafting the policy statement,, the
Royal Danish Government for funding the
project and a British Consultant, and officials of the Ministry of Information for their administrative and
technical support during the preparation of the policy statement.
MINISTER OF INFORMATION
lst AUGUST, 1998
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION