African Union 1st Ordinary Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Communication and ICT (CCICT-1)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3 September 2015
Mr. Brahima Sanou
Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Honorable Yamfa Mukanga Chairaman of the Bureau
Honorable Ministers here present
Excellence Dr. Elham Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy
All other High Dignitaries here present
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is always a personal pleasure for me to return to Addis Ababa, and to come back home here in the African Union. It is also a great honor to be with you today on the occasion of the AU 1st Ordinary Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICTs.
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen
Tremendous progress has been made not only globally but in Africa.
Today, there are more than 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, 3.2 billion people are using the Internet, of which 2 billion live in developing countries.
In Africa, over the last decade, growth in ICT use and uptake has exceeded all expectations particularly in the mobile-cellular market, driven by a high degree of competition, falling prices and prepaid services. Today 84% of Africa’s population is covered by a mobile network.
Honorable Minsters ,
With the convergence of infrastructure, the convergence of services and the convergence of service providers, you are called upon to address new challenges. Migration from Analog to Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting is still a priority because only 7 African countries met the deadline of 17 June 2015.
With the growing use of the Internet and the Internet of everything in the near future, issues of Cybersecurity, data protection, privacy, Child Online Protection are taking a new dimension.
There is still a great need for the development of ICT Applications including m-payment, digital transactions, e-Learning, e-Health, e-Agriculture and creation of local content while paying due attention to persons with disabilities and consumer protection. We need to put a human face on ICTs.
These new challenges require policy makers to go beyond the telecom/ICT sector and embrace the ICT ecosystem including all the new players and stakeholders.
To this end, I am pleased to say that the AUC, EUC and ITU are working on a project to support your efforts and facilitate the fast-paced development of Africa through ICTs.
Let me take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the European Union Commission for its tremendous contribution and to African Union Commission particularly the Department of Infrastructure and Energy for the successful partnership and cooperation in the implementation of the HIPSSA project.
I am equally proud that ITU and AUC co-chair the Steering Committee of the SMART Africa Alliance, the implementation mechanism of the SMART Africa Manifesto, a blue print for placing ICTs squarely at the center of Africa’s development agenda, adopted by the African Union Assembly in January 2014.
Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
ITU celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Yes, 150 years during which ITU Members have accumulated knowledge in Global Standards, Radiocommunication, project execution and development activities.
As ITU family we are very proud of the huge contribution telecom/ICT has brought to humanity, contributing to changes in our economy, our culture and our lives.
As the repository of this remarkable legacy I am here today to reaffirm, on behalf of the ITU Secretariat, that we are ready to continue to support your initiatives and programmes under the leadership of the African Union.
Thank you for your time, thank you for the opportunity.