Regulatory Effectiveness: Stakeholder Perceptions of Namibia’s Communications Regulatory Framework
LINK Research Associate
Communications regulatory frameworks are established to achieve myriad regulatory objectives. These may include affordable pricing, consumer welfare and competition. A regulatory framework is therefore endowed with regulatory governance measures and regulatory incentives to enable it to achieve these purposes. In applying these measures and incentives, the framework becomes effective, or ineffective, depending on whether the regulatory purpose is met. The purpose of this qualitative exploratory study was to assess the perceptions of the stakeholders, as active participants in the evolution of the framework, regarding the effectiveness of the types of measures and incentives implemented within the Namibian institutional context. Perception studies can be valuable because they offer insight on how the policies, laws and regulations that are implemented are viewed by the stakeholders for whom they are designed and implemented. While these are not the only inputs, knowledge of stakeholder views informs the future redesign of these measures and incentives to make the regulatory framework increasingly more effective. One of the main findings of the research was that the perceived conflict of interests between the ICT policy role of the Ministry of ICT and its shareholder role over Telecom Namibia negatively impacts competition. Its policy support for the dominant role of Telecom Namibia is in conflict with the regulatory purpose of encouraging private investment. The conclusion was that this regulatory governance design measure conflicts with the regulatory framework and requires legislative amendment and a re-design of the framework in an effort to improve competitiveness in Namibia’s electronic communications market.