Committed to connecting the world



Support for harmonization of the ICT Policies
in Sub-Saharan Africa
During the 2nd Conference of African Ministers in charge of Communication and Information Technologies (CITMC-2), Member States of the African Union (AU) adopted the Reference Framework for Harmonization of the telecommunication and ICT Policies and Regulation in Africa (Cairo, 2008). The aim was to develop a strong, integrated and viable communications sector on the continent. One of its broad objectives was to:
Establish harmonized policy, legal and regulatory frameworks at the regional and continental levels to create an enabling environment that will attract investment and foster the sustainable development of competitive African Telecommunication/ICT regional markets, infrastructures, and to increase access [of its people to the related services].
HIPSSA was initiated as a result of the request made by the economic integration organizations in Africa, as well as regional regulators associations, to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the European Commission for assistance in harmonizing ICT policies and legislations in sub-Saharan Africa. While HIPSSA does not cover the entire continent, it became an important building block in establishing global pan-African harmonized ICT policies and frameworks.
Given the geographical, political and cultural diversity of the region, special attention has been paid to adapting the methodology of the Project to specific needs and conditions. It was also noted that countries in different geographic regions belong to different economic, monetary and regulatory associations, or they may belong to several of them at the same time. The methodology of the Project has taken into account these very sensitive issues to avoid potential competition between the regional organizations. Therefore, the Project was divided into four sub-regional programs:
          1)      East Africa
          2)      Central Africa
          3)      Southern Africa
          4)      West Africa
EGGs map.png 
HIPSSA Project has also built on the previous regional harmonization efforts that took place earlier and were funded by various organizations.




The launching meeting of the HIPSSA Project took place on December 11-12, 2008 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting included 30 regional and continental representatives from the beneficiary countries. For full details, agenda, objectives and reports of the meeting, please read more here.





  1. ICT Regulatory harmonization: Comparative study of regional initiatives [EN] [FR]
  2. Analog to digital broadcasting migration
    Analog to digital broadcasting migration [FR]
  3. Cross-border frequency coordination
    HCM4A Sub-Saharan assessment report [EN] [FR]
    HCM4A Central Africa assessment report [EN]
    HCM4A East Africa assessment report [EN]
    HCM4A Southern Africa assessment report [EN]
    HCM4A West Africa assessment report [EN]
    HCM4A Agreement [EN] [FR]
    HCM4A Annexes to Agreement [Annex 1] [Annex 2A] [Annex 2B] [Annex 3A]
    [Annex 3B] [Annex 4] [Annex 5] [Annex 6] [Annex 6 App.1] [Annex 6 App.2]
    [Annex 6 App.3] [Annex 6 App.4] [Annex 6 App.5] [Annex 7] [Annex 8A] [Annex 8B] [Annex 9] [Annex 10] [Annex 11]
  4. Regional ICT indicators
    ICT-Eye website 
    Methodology [EN
  5. Interconnection cost-modeling
    Assessment (regional and global) 
    Training materials [EN]
    Training materials [FR]
    Training materials [PT]
  6. Cybersecurity
    ECOWAS cybersecurity guidelines [EN]
    ECCAS Model Law / CEMAC Directives on Cybersecurity
    (Data protection, e-transactions, cybercrime) [FR]
    SADC model law on data protection [EN] [FR]
    SADC model law on e-transactions [EN] [FR]
    SADC model law on cybercrime [EN] [FR]
  7. ICT/Telecom
    ECCAS model law on ICT/Telecom [FR]
    Model law on ICT:
    Model policy guidelines and legislative texts [EN]
  8. Open access to submarine cables
    Assessment in West Africa [EN] [FR]
    Guidelines [EN] [FR]
    ECOWAS regulation - Access to submarine cables [EN] [FR]
    Submarine cables - ECOWAS Study - Access from Landlocked countries [EN] [FR]
  9. Universal service/access
    Assessment in Southern Africa [EN] [FR]
    SADC guidelines [EN] [FR]
    Toolkit [EN] [FR


Following the validation and approval of this region-wide activity, in-country technical assistance was made available for transposing the regional guidelines into national legislative and regulatory frameworks that concur with national specificities.

The overview table of the in-country technical assistance is available here