The Director-General of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service, Phillemon Malima, suggests that SIM cards in the country could be registered as a counterterrorism measure.

The Namibian quotes Malima as saying that said that the public of Namibia should be "engaged through educational and awareness raising programmes, while communication strategies to prevent terrorists should be crafted".

Malima was speaking at a two-day workshop in Windhoek, Namibia, where he was part of a discussion on how Namibian security agencies should prevent radicalism, violent extremism and religious tensions.

Malima said the two-day workshop identified the need to focus on preventing and countering violent extremism.

Should Namibia proceed and formalise this, they will be following in the footsteps of numerous African countries who have legislated that SIM cards need to be registered before they can be used.

Countries such as Kenya, Mozambique, and most recently Uganda have put measures in place to turn off unregistered SIM cards, with the justification that these lines cannot be traced to a particular individual, and therefore they could be used in criminal activity.

Namibia's neighbour, South Africa, which introduced the "Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, (RICA)" in 2011.

Through RICA, all SIM cards in South Africa have to be registered by mobile service providers with individuals details as per their identity document, physical address.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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