Benchmark indicators for African national regulatory authority websites
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This survey of African national regulatory websites ranks the online component of information provision and facilitation of regulatory processes. This study follows a previous regional survey conducted in 2004-05 which examined the extent to which regulators were using websites to inform and communicate with the public – including consumers and citizens, the private sector, media actors and researchers and other governmental and non-governmental organizations. The benchmarking assessment documents the incidence of different aspects that are important for regulator’s web presence across the categories of basic information and responsiveness, factual information about the national telecom sector, consumer and citizen information including universal service and complaints procedures, business related information and forms, and information about the regulator and regulatory processes. A country’s inclusion into the assessment was contingent on the country having an independent authority* and the authority having a functioning website. Out of a total 54 countries in Africa, 30 had regulatory institutions that could be classified as independent with websites and 24 did not have websites. The countries were assessed by region (Central Africa, Eastern Africa, Island countries, Northern Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa). The benchmarking results show marked differences across countries and regions. Egypt received the highest score and performed well across all categories. Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya and South Africa completed the top five category. Following closely are Uganda, Algeria, Senegal and Tanzania. These NRAs were considered to have had adequate content in support of users being informed and being able to participate in regulatory processes. The Island countries of Mauritius and Madagascar performed better across most of the regional categories. This was followed by the Northern African and the Eastern African region. Overall, the total African regional average was low with a benchmark indicating that national regulatory authority websites hover between static and emerging levels of information provision.