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9th Forum on Telecom/ICT Regulation and Partnership in Africa (FTRA 2008)
Dakar, Senegal 4-6 June 2008

"Connect Africa: Challenges for the Regulators and the Operators"
 

The ninth Forum on Telecommunication/ICT Regulation and Partnership in Africa (FTRA-2008) was held in Dakar, Senegal from 4 to 6 June 2008. The Forum was attended by over 180 delegates from 43 countries. Participants included regulators, policy makers and ITU-D Sector members as well as representatives of regional and international organizations.

The Forum was officially opened by His Excellency Mr. Habib Sy, State Minister and Minister for Infrastructures, Land Transport, Telecommunications and ICT of Senegal. In his opening speech, he thanked ITU for the respect shown to Senegal by organizing the Forum in Dakar. He mentioned the importance that His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye WADE, President of the Republic of Senegal, initiator of the Digital Solidarity Funds, and Coordinator of the ICT sector of NEPAD, places on ICT and continues inviting players of telecommunications and ICT sector to a dynamism and a synergy for the benefit of a modern and successful Africa, perfectly integrated in the information society. He further mentioned initiatives of Senegal at the President’s behest such as e-Senegal, accelerated growth Strategy, Community multi- media Centres, Cyber village to mention few. He concluded by emphasizing the importance of ICT regulatory framework while indicating that it should be used as catalyst to encourage our fellow-citizens to be part of the ICT world. [Read Full final communiqué]

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Recommendations

Exchanges during the various sessions led to the following recommendations to support the Connect Africa initiative:

  • Strengthen the African private sector, in particular micro, small and medium enterprises in order to give them the means of entering the international financial market;

  • Encourage infrastructures sharing on a commercial basis with the objective to lower the cost of infrastructure, including local loop unbundling;

  • Use judiciously the Universal Service Funds for the rural and isolated areas as well as the national backbone. The Universal Service Funds could be also used to build the ICT infrastructure for the education and research networks, in particular the network of universities and the networks of health. The funds could also be used to subsidize the cost of the bandwidth in some cases;

  • Harmonize regulations at the sub-regional and regional levels in order to create critical mass of market;

  • Revise the Green Book or manual, clearly define the key roles of the various players, including, the Ministries, the Regulation bodies and the Operators, Telecommunication/ICT service providers in the new environment characterized by convergence;

  • Call upon Policy makers (Ministries and Regulation Agencies) of the African countries to develop a strategy so that the various Operators and Telecommunications/ICT service providers become ITU Sector Members.

 

 

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Updated : 2008-07-07