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Economic regulation refers to a set of restrictions or rules promulgated by government administrative agencies through rulemaking supported by a threat of sanction or a fine. The main scope for government’s regulation is to prevent markets’ failures, in other words, situations in which markets do not efficiently organize production or allocate goods and services to consumers (as in the presence of a monopoly/dominant firm).


The Communications Act, No. 34 of 2016 specifically gives the Authority the mandate to regulate and monitor the provision of communications services and ensure that, as far as it is practicable, reliable and affordable communications services are provided throughout Malawi and are sufficient to meet the demand for such services in accordance with the principles of transparency, certainty, market orientation, efficiency, and consumer satisfaction.


In order to effectively execute the economic and competition regulation, the Authority has the Economic Affairs Department (also the Economics and Competition Department). The Department is responsible for economic regulation and competition in the communication sector in four areas:  Promotion | assessment | supervision | remedies.


  • To enhance effective economic regulation and promote competition, innovation and investment in respect of services and facilities provided in the telecommunication, broadcasting and postal sector whilst promoting universal access to competitive, effective, reliable and affordable services and ensuring a range of diversified quality of services to meet consumer demand.
  • The Department also develops and designs pricing models effective tariff regulation.
  • Undertake interconnection regulation.
  • Collect and maintain database of statistics for Industry and Market Performance Reviews.

  • The department is also aimed at carrying out various market studies and analyses on the development of communication services in Malawi such as Market Definition and Market Power Assessments for Competition Regulation.
  • Conduct business and economic appraisal of licensing frameworks and applications.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the Authority’s plans and activities, strategic plan development, implementation and implementation of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) system.