• Home
  • /
  • Telecoms
  • /
  • Community of African Telecoms Regulators launched at ACT 2000

Community of African Telecoms Regulators launched at ACT 2000

By AITEC Africa
Johannesburg, 07 Sept 2000

Telecommunications regulators from 12 African countries meeting at the African Computing & Telecommunications 2000 Summit at Sun City, South Africa, announced on Friday (1 September 2000) that they had launched a Community of African Regulators as part of a broader strategy to accelerate African development.

The regulators met in two sessions at an African Regulators Forum convened by Summit organisers AITEC as part of the follow up to the UN Economic Commission for Africa`s inaugural African Development Forum (ADF99) held last year to address the challenge to Africa of globalisation and the information age.

The regulators -- and other ACT 2000 participants from the private sector, government and civil society -- met to consider the benefits of establishing the Community of African Regulators. The sessions were chaired by Jan Mutai, Secretary General of the African Telecommunication Union (ATU), which has expressed its intention to collaborate closely with all relevant regional organisations to take advantage of synergies in building an African information society.

Participants were briefed by representatives of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)on discussions on policy and regulatory issues held since ADF99. These discussions indicated a significant interest in the establishment of a Community of African Regulators to share experience and best practice, to promote the development of accountable, transparent and inclusive systems of regulation, and to address collectively major challenges limiting the capacity of the communications sector to contribute to the economic and social development of the region.

In a statement read at the Summit`s final plenary session, Mutai said: "The Community of African Regulators is part of the broader strategy to accelerate African development through the increased use of information and communication technologies that will be taken forward to the post-ADF99 Heads of State Summit expected to be convened in February 2000."

The ACT African Regulators Forum discussed in detail:

  • The most important issues to be addressed and resolved through regional collaboration including human capacity and training issues; and
  • Mechanisms to support on-going collaboration and information exchange among African regulators.

"There was a clear consensus on the need to establish the Community of African Regulators," said Mutai. "The African Telecommunications Union will now take the process forward to the Forum on Telecommunications Regulation in Africa to be held in Botswana during 25-27 October 2000.

"A small group of experts co-ordinated by the ECA will prepare a briefing note outlining the consensus reached at the ACT Summit for consideration by the larger group of regulators and policy makers who will be present at the Botswana meeting."