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Communiqué final of the 4th Forum on Telecommunication Regulation in Africa

11-13 November 2003, Accra, Ghana


The fourth Forum on Telecommunication Regulation in Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, from 11th to 13th November 2003.

The Forum was officially opened by Honourable Albert Kan – DAPAAH (MP), Minister of Communications of Ghana, who in his keynote address welcame all participants to Accra and wished them a pleasant stay in Ghana.

Preceding the Minister’s keynote address, Mr Mathurin Bako, Director General of ARTEL Burkina Faso, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, CEO of CTO and Mr Kwami Mensah representative of the Secretary General of ATU, delivered their respective opening remarks.

The opening remarks from Mr Hamadoun I. Toure, Director of BDT, was delivered by Mr Brahima Sanou, Head of the ITU Regional Office for Africa.

Ghana was elected Chairman of the Forum, with Nigeria as Vice-Chairman and Cameroon as Rapporteur.

The Forum heard and discussed reports and presentations submitted by regulators, representatives of ministries, operators, Regional and International Organizations and ITU consultants, focusing specifically on the following topics: 

- Assessment of Telecommunication reform in Africa,

- Universal Access,

- Interconnection,

- International and regional cooperation

In light of the debates, which took place over the three days, the Forum laid particular emphasis on the need to bring telecommunication access to all Africans at affordable prices, making use of available technologies.

Interconnection issues and the role of Regional Cooperation in the harmonisation of regulatory matters in the continent had taken an important stance during the discussions.

Recommendations addressed to Governments, Telecommunication Regulators as well as to other stakeholders were made.

The Forum believes that most African Governments have already put in place regulatory authorities that are responsible for the implementation of the telecommunication sector policies and for Universal Access in particular

Accordingly, the Forum recommends:

  1. To the Governments

·        The creation of a Regional Fund for Universal Access,

·         Regional Harmonisation of national policies for Universal Access,

·        Integration of ICT in the National Development Strategies and Policies.

 2. To the Regulatory Bodies and Regional Regulatory Associations:

·        To play an important role in defining policies and tools for interconnection,

·        To adopt adequate approach for interconnection tariffs,

·        To seize the opportunities offered by the CTO and the ITU in the Human Resource Development and capacity building in ICT,

·        To take advantage of the opportunities offered by the WTO for assistance in their respective negotiations.

At the kind invitation of Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), the next forum will take place in Uganda at a date to be determined later.

The Forum expresses its sincere thanks to the Government and people of Ghana  and to the organizers and sponsors and requested its Chairman to transmit an official message of thanks to His Excellency John Agyekum KUFUOR, President of Ghana, and to the people of Ghana for all the facilities made available, which significantly contributed to the success of the meeting.


Dated, Accra, 13 November 2003.


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