Director General of Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) Godfrey Itaye has said cyber-crimes are a challenge all over the world and that countries have lost millions of money due to the malpractice.
Itaye made the remarks on Tuesday during the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Malawi Police Service on spectrum management at the National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe.
He observed that the problem can grow big in Malawi if there proper measures in containing it.
“The memorandum of understanding is a significant exercise that testifies the need for collaboration between and among institutions in the promotion of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Malawi, “Itaye said.
He said ICTs have become the lifeblood for national and global development and they are key in the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He observed that the nation needs ICT to deliver various social and economic services such as health, education, security, agriculture, banking, businesses and many more development programs to the people in rural and urban areas.
Itaye said MACRA realizes that there are challenges that put at risk the gains made so far and threaten to compromise efforts to accrue more benefits on ICT.
He cited cyber security as an example which has become an area that needs urgent attention.
“As we make progress in the promotion of ICTs, there are new cases of cyber-crime which are having negative effect on our economy and these need to be combated,” Itaye said.
In his remarks, Inspector General of Police Dr. Lexten Kachama said the two institutions recognize cybercrime as an emerging problem especially the illegal usage of the spectrum by some individuals.
But he observed that inadequate enforcement of laws under the Communications Act falls short of addressing the challenge.
“Much as Police as an institution is by law entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the laws, there are some technical challenges which we do encounter in the process in enforcing some laws.
This is where working in partnership with relevant stakeholders becomes a plus for us to properly enforce the laws,” Kachama said.
He assured Macra of full support and cooperation to fulfil the respective obligations under the MOU.
The Inspector General further said that unregulated spectrum management may be unhealthy to security of the country as others may take advantage of it in order to champion their evil agendas.
He urged relevant branches of the Malawi Police Service such as the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) more especially forensics cybercrime experts, prosecutions, IT and Radio Communications branch to cooperate with MACRA and other stakeholders in this fight.
The MOU provides for a number of processes where MACRA and the Malawi Police Service will collaborate in a number of areas.
Some of the arears include use of technical expertise, capacity building, investigation and prosecution of cases, consultations on certain regulations, monitoring and enforcement of relevant provisions of the Acts that govern the running of the two institutions.
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