African ICT leaders adopt progressive initiatives

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regional preparatory meeting for Africa ended on Friday with heads of delegation proposing five regional initiatives to speed up telecommunications expansion on the continent.

The proposal borders on strengthening human and industrial capacity building, and strengthening and harmonising policy and regulatory framework for integration of Africa telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) markets.

The leaders further proposed the development of broadband infrastructure and achievement of regional interconnectivity and universal access, spectrum management and transition to digital broadcasting as well as strengthening the security of ICT infrastructure and building confidence in its use.

Mr Paarock Vanpercy, Director-General of National Communication Authority, and Chairman of the Regional Preparatory Meeting, presented the draft report to participants at the end of the conference.

The draft report would serve as basis for the formulation of contributions to the upcoming world telecommunication development conference in 2014.

Mr Vanpercy said the initiatives were expected to provide stakeholders in Africa with human resources and sklls needed for harmonious development of the telecommunication and the ICT sectors on sustainable basis.

It would also facilitate and promote the reform of Africa’s national telecommunication and ICT sectors and the implementation of strategies to achieve sub-regional and regional integration of the sectors’ infrastructure, services and markets.

He said it was anticipated that the strategies would assist member states in the development of broadband infrastructure and access to urban and rural areas of Sub-regional and continental interconnection.

Mr Vanpercy said the initiatives sought to assist member states in the transition to digital broadcasting and spectrum management.

He said it would also assist member states in defining and implementing appropriate strategies for the protection of ICT infrastructure and building confidence in the use of ICT and applications.

The regional preparatory meeting for Africa was organised by the Telecommunications Development Bureau of the International Telecommunications Union at the invitation of the Government of Ghana.

The meeting, which was attended by about 254 participants representing 30 member states from Africa and 52 others from the United Nations and other entities, was on the theme: “ICT for Development and Empowerment of Africa.”

Its objective was to identify priorities for the development of ICT to enhance the livelihood of the people of Africa. GNA

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