Cabinet has approved the introduction of a bill in the next sitting of parliament that is aimed at combating violations of personal privacy that may be generated by personal collection, processing, transmission, storage and use of information.
According to a statement released to the media by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting services, huge amounts of personal data generated and collected can be used as inputs in developing countries’ pursuit to achieve their national visions and consequently, attainment of their socio-economic transformation.
“Government feels it is time to put in place appropriate legal frameworks concerning data protection in order to give legal rights to individuals, who themselves are the data subjects in respect of personal data held about them,” read the statement
Below is the full statement detailing the resolutions of the cabinet meeting held on Friday 8th June
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON ON THE DECISIONS MADE BY CABINET AT THE 9TH CABINET MEETING HELD AT STATE HOUSE ON FRIDAY, 8TH JUNE, 2018
Cabinet has approved in principle to introduce in the next sitting of Parliament the Data Protection (Repeal) Bill, 2018 with a view to repealing and replacing the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act, No. 21 of 2009.
At the 9th Cabinet Meeting held today, Friday, 8th June, 2018, at State House, His Excellency the President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his Cabinet discussed five (5) substantive items.
1. The Data Protection (Repeal) Bill, 2018
Cabinet approved in principle to introduce in Parliament in the next sitting, the Data Protection (Repeal) Bill, 2018
Zambia signed the African Union (AU) Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection on 29th January, 2016 during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the African Union.
The goal of the Convention is to address the need for harmonised legislation in the area of cyber security and data protection in the Member States of the African Union.
Following this continental agreement, each Member State, is required to develop a mechanism capable of combating violations of privacy that may be generated by personal collection, processing, transmission, storage and use of information.
Cabinet fully supported this move especially in the advent of the Information Communications Technologies (ICT) which has fundamentally changed the way people and organisations, namely, businesses, nonprofit agencies, governments and criminal enterprises interact.
Through digital platforms, huge amounts of personal data are generated and collected which can be used as inputs in developing countries’ pursuit to achieve their national visions and consequently, attainment of their socio-economic transformation.
Government feels it is time to put in place appropriate legal frameworks concerning data protection in order to give legal rights to individuals, who themselves are the data subjects in respect of personal data held about them.
2. The Revised National Transport Policy and the 2018 – 2028 Implementation Plan
Cabinet further, approved the Revised National Transport Policy and its Implementation Plan. The current policy was approved by Cabinet in 2002 and a number of things have since changed in the transport sector, thereby, requiring a revised policy in order to formulate a framework which will facilitate the creation of an integrated, efficient, cost effective and sustainable transportation system.
The Policy will also ensure optimal maintenance and rehabilitation of existing transport infrastructure, and will also ensure infrastructure are environmentally friendly, and gender sensitive. The Policy will promote regional corridor competitiveness and will be servicing people with special needs.
Government understands that transportation is the first step to development. Economic activities cannot take place without an infrastructure base. Because of its intensive use of infrastructure, the transport sector is an important component of the economy and a common tool used for development. This is more so in today’s global economy where economic opportunities are increasingly related to the mobility of people, goods and information.
The integrated mode of transportation of goods and passengers which this Policy will promote will enhance cost efficiency in transport service provision, thereby providing economic and social opportunities and benefits that will result in positive multiplier effects such as better accessibility to markets, employment and additional investments.
3. The Electronic Commerce and Transactions (Repeal) Bill, 2018
At the same Meeting, Cabinet approved in principle, to introduce the Electronic Commerce and Transactions (Repeal) Bill, 2018 in Parliament to define the legal framework that will support growth of e-Commerce; e-Government; e-Transactions; e-Payments; e-Banking; e-Trading; e-Market Places; Digital Currency Markets; and other digital innovations.
The Bill when enacted will stimulate growth in the utilisation of electronic transactions and payment platforms that promote transactional efficiencies in service delivery and contribute significantly to social economic growth of the country. The Bill will improve intergovernmental coordination through e-Government by aligning ICT investments.
Further, the enactment of the Bill will build trust and confidence in the general citizenry to perform online transactions using various available payment platforms which include credit cards, debit cards, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) bill payments, kiosks and mobile phone applications.
The Bill will also repeal and replace certain parts and sections in the existing Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, No. 21 of 2009 which has been found inadequate to govern electronic transactions and promote electronic commerce.
4. National Policy on Wetlands
In winding up the programme for the day, Cabinet approved the draft National Policy on Wetlands and its Implementation Plan.
The Policy aims to provide for a functional, productive and resilient wetland system that will contribute to addressing climate change, maintenance of biodiversity, provision of ecosystem and sustainable livelihoods as well as promote a coordinated approach to management and conservation of wetland ecosystems in Zambia.
This Policy is important mainly because wetlands in Zambia are threatened by a wide range of issues that include the spread of Invasive Alien Species, encroachment of shrubs, expansion of human settlement, pollution, mining, river damming for hydropower generation, draining, climate change, genetically modified organisms and channelisation.
Further, the uncoordinated and fragmented approaches in the management of wetlands by different agencies based on their different mandates has contributed towards the unsustainable management of wetlands in the country, a matter which has since been addressed in the Policy.
Cabinet emphasised the need for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to carry on board key stakeholders in the implementation of the Policy, in particular, the Ministries of Transport and Communications, and the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection.
5. Centenary Commemoration of the End of World War I and the Northern Province Expo
Cabinet also approved the proposal to commemorate the end of WWI in Zambia (tentatively to run from 14th to 25th November 2018) because of the role that the Country played during the war.
Cabinet adopted the event as a State Function due to its significance to the Northern Province and the country at large; and also approved the hosting of the Northern Province Tourism and Investment Expo to be held alongside the Centenary Commemoration of the WWI for the purpose of marketing the Northern Tourism Circuit as a potential destination.
It is necessary to hold the Centenary Commemorations in Northern Province to ensure that the untold history of the end of the WWI, now more than ever before, must be highly publicised. Zambia needs to tell this untold history to the world and clearly state that the country played a significant role in WWI. Zambia will leverage this indescribable history and market the country as a world class tourism and investment destination for many years to come.
The Commemoration of the end of WWI in Zambia will potentially bring together over 19 foreign countries that participated in the East Africa campaign. The world will know Zambia not only as a Southern African State, but rather as a pioneer of peace because of the role it played during the war. This will further make the world realise, acknowledge and record that the last bullet of the First World War was fired on Zambian soil.
The centenary commemoration will further cement the strong multilateral ties Zambia has with the United Kingdom, Germany and other foreign countries that took part in the WWI.
8th June, 2018