Start Date:
End Date:
Event dates
Start Date:
End Date:
World or Multi-Regional
Training topics
  • ICT/Telecom Regulation
Training type
Online instructor led
  • English
Event organizer
University of the Witwatersrand/ Link Centre
Event mail contact
  • Lucienne Abrahams
  • Emmanuel NIYIKORA
  • Nokhanyo Yolwa
Course level



The sessions offer an overview of a few of the key trends observed in the transition to digital economies, highlighting the relevance to telecoms regulation, broadcast regulation, postal sector regulation, regulation for e-commerce and digital government, regulation for smart cities, and skills requirements for regulatory professionals and leaders. These focus areas for regulation are each extensive fields in their own right, hence each of the sessions tackles a distinct topic, highlighting key issues. Participants are offered a short list of relevant materials as essential reading in addition to interactive lecture sessions. The reading material provides the foundation for deriving benefit from the sessions.

Regulatory professionals, regulatory researchers, decision-makers and professionals active in policy and law-making, in particular those working in national and local government policy units, and in national and regional regulatory authorities, those engaged in legal drafting and those responsible for parliamentary oversight, should attend this course. Also, professionals active in the broad electronic communications sector, in regulatory departments of mobile operators, lawyers, consultants, journalists, union officials, and NGOs involved in the broad sector should attend. The course will enhance your understanding of advancing policy, legal and regulatory trends in telecoms, in smart environments, in the transition to digital audio-visual media, in digitally enabled business, in competition regulation, and in trade facilitation that enables the African and global digital economy.

An undergraduate degree qualification is preferred. Where the entrant has three or more years active sector experience, this requirement may be waived.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Actively discuss the changes in the nature of the policy, legal and regulatory landscape, in the context of the transition to digital economies and smart cities/industries
  • Identify the policy and regulatory issues relevant to their institutions and the evolving electronic communications sector and digital economy in their respective countries
  • Examine a few of the specific features of telecoms, broadcast/audio-visual media, smart post and other smart environment regulation
  • Critically analyse ideas pertaining to digital innovation, digital transformation, competition and regulatory innovation
  • Engage in the extensive reading required for policy and regulatory leadership
  • The activities for the online instructor-led course will take place for 6 hours each week (two 3-hour lectures one day per week) for 5 weeks, from the week of 16 October to the week of 13 November 2023.
  • Interactive online lectures presented by subject matter experts
  • Online regulatory seminar with expert panel
  • Online tutorials on using specific literature search, reading and annotated bibliography techniques that enable regulatory professionals to conduct regulatory research
  • Self-study: Pre- and post-course reading of recommended reading material
  • Single group assignment: Online verbal presentation with slides
  • Single short essay-type individual assignment: To be submitted for assessment by examiner on Monday 20 November
  • Optional: Discussion forum

Attendance requirement = participants must attend and participate in at least 80% of all online activities, in other words a minimum of 24 of the 30 hours of online activities, as confirmed in the daily register

Two assignments will constitute 100% of the assessment for the course, composed of:

  • Group assignment weighting = 30%
  • Individual assignment weighting = 70%

Each participant will need to pass both the group assignment and the individual assignment, with the combined total score being higher than 70%, as is required to obtain the ITU certificate.

A participant who does not achieve the combined score of greater than 70% will be granted only one opportunity to revise or to rewrite.


Day: Day 1 Topics covered:

  • Session 1: Evolution of technologies and networks for the digital economy
  • Session 2: Disruptive technologies and digital transformation
  • Session 3: Research skills and methodologies for regulatory professionals

Key learning points:

  • Technology foundations for regulatory thinking and doing
  • Evolution of broadband technologies
  • Perspective on emerging technologies and challenges for regulators
  • The nature of the digital economy, digital innovation, and digital transformation, including sharing ideas from model laws and frameworks for the digital economy
  • Influence of emerging technologies on services offered by telecommunications operators and ICT service providers
  • Innovation frameworks and ecosystems, including tech hubs
  • Assessing regulatory performance: Regulatory impact assessment
  • First steps in using the annotated bibliography technique to enhance regulatory research by regulatory professionals
  • Briefing on group assignment

Training activities details:

  • Interactive lecture
  • Interactive lecture
  • Short input
  • In-session practice exercise

Day: Day 2 Topics covered:

  • Session 4: Telecoms enabling digital business
  • Session 5: Regional digital economies and the context of digital trade
  • Session 6: Competition regulation for the digital economy

Key learning points:

  • Understanding digital business today: Telecoms services enabling digital business in multiple sectors
  • Regulatory issues that arise in the context of telecoms operators enabling digital business
  • Telecoms services enabling trade: Quick overview of protocols for digital trade in key regional trade agreements
  • Telecoms services enabling trade: Quick overview of regulatory issues
  • Key discussion points in competition regulation for the digital economy

Training activities details:

  • Interactive lecture
  • Interactive lecture
  • Panel discussion/seminar with invited regulatory leaders and industry experts

Day: Day 3 Topics covered:

  • Session 7: Trends in cybersecurity law, regulation, and practice
  • Session 8: Future oriented regulation: Regulatory design thinking, regulatory performance, and regulatory effectiveness

Key learning points:

  • Building effective cybersecurity regulation to protect business and citizens’ rights
  • Building effective cybersecurity regulation to address economic vulnerabilities
  • Data protection and cybersecurity practice in the context of IP networks, cloud-based services, fintech, artificial intelligence applications, and robotic process automation
  • The power of regulation and the power of regulators: Building open economies through diffusion, access, and adoption (enabling industry, enabling digital services markets, enabling digital government, global trends in digital services, content regulation, and the transition to platforms), sectoral application (education/ health/trade/other), spectrum regulation, a new universality for a new digital divide
  • Strategic foresight (path dependency, minimizing regulatory burdens, impact assessment)
  • The power of regulatory governance (regulatory impact, regulatory performance, technologies for regulatory compliance)
  • Adaptive and cross-sectoral collaborative regulation (anticipating future needs, engaging in regulatory innovation, experimental regulation and regulatory sandboxes, the need for continuous regulatory research)
  • Local perspective: Discussing local trends, relevance, and application of ideas for regulatory governance

Training activities details:

  • Interactive lecture
  • Interactive lecture

Day: Day 4 Topics covered:

  • Session 9: Digital innovation and digital transformation: Insights for decision-making
  • Session 10: Group exercise preparation

Key learning points:

  • Consider and interrogate the disruptive activities taking place in selected countries (based on which countries participants come from) as they transition into early stage (or second stage) digital economies (includes attention to agriculture, manufacturing, construction, banking and financial services, tourism, e-commerce, education, health, other)
  • Consider how new regulatory design thinking influences regulatory strategy and approaches to regulation, and regulatory effectiveness
  • Discuss the extent to which the existing policy and legislative framework in selected countries presents barriers to, or flexibilities that enable, a future orientation
  • Contemplate the opportunities for pushing ahead

Training activities details:

  • Facilitated exercise and online discussion forum
  • Group assignment work

Day: Day 5 Topics covered:

  • Session 11: Foundational research techniques for regulatory leaders and professionals
  • Session 12: Group presentations Key learning points:
  • Using the annotated bibliography format to extract value from key readings in policy and regulation for the digital era
  • Author, year, title, URL, or DOI
  • Highlights of the article/paper/reading
  • Analytical comments on the article/paper/reading
  • Comparative review of highlights for multiple readings and relevance
  • Comparative review of analytical comments for multiple readings and relevance
  • Briefing on individual assignment
  • Small academic/industry panel observes and assesses group presentations

Training activities details:

  • Interactive lecture and practice session
  • Group presentations and assessment
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