Your Honour, the Chairman of PP-14
The ITU Secretary General and your Team
Your Excellencies fellow Ministers here present
Distinguished participants from all Member States
Ladies and Gentlemen
On Behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Malawi allow me to bring you greetings from the Warm heart of Africa. Mr Chairman, on this auspicious occasion of the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14), let me start by congratulating you Chairman for your election as the Chair of this conference.
Let me thank our gracious host, the Government and people of the Republic of Korea for the warm and excellent hospitality accorded to us since our arrival in this beautiful city of Busan. Let me also thank the ITU secretary General, Dr Hamadoun Toure and his team for the excellent stewardship of our organization and all member states present here for the commitment shown so far in this conference.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Malawi as a country recognizes ICT as a key pillar for economic development as evidenced by its inclusion in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategies (MGDS) and the enactment of a National ICT Policy to guide the development of the sector.
In view of the ITU developmental goals, Malawi has embraced all aspects of The ITU Connect 2020 vision and targets including growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation and partnership. The following steps have thus been undertaken;
Enhancing the legal and regulatory framework through necessary instruments i.e. Reviewed Communications Bill, E-legislation Bill and Access to information Bill which will improve ICT utilization and access as well as facilitating easier access to the Universal Service Fund (USF).
Leveling the playing field by among others implementing a converged licensing framework and reducing the corporate tax for the telecommunications sector.
Development of a national fibre backbone to connect to the submarine cables through the Regional Communications Infrastructure Project Malawi (RCIP-MW) under World Bank funding in view of the landlocked nature of Malawi.
Provision of ICT access to rural areas through the Multipurpose Community Telecentres Project as well as the piloting of Television White Spaces (TVWS) project for rural broadband internet access.
Partnering with other institutions i.e. ITU and Korea Republic for the development of a Wireless Broadband Master Plan as well as SADC on mobile roaming and COMESA on Cyber Security issues.
Implementation of the digital migration project in line with regional and global deadlines and the harmonization of the digital dividend in order to facilitate socio-economic development of our country.
Enhancement of financial inclusion for the Postal sector as well as the development of physical addressing and postal code project.
Partnering with the academia on key Research and Development initiatives as well as encouraging the uptake of ICT by women and girls.
It is therefore our considered view that the efforts being done by our country will facilitate bridging of the digital divide in line with ITU "Connect 2020" vision, goals and targets. As ITU gets to 150 years in 2015, it is our pledge that Malawi will continue to be part of the key players to the realization of the vision of ITU success story.
In conclusion, let me take this opportunity to thank ITU leadership and more especially Dr. Hamadoun Toure, a son of Africa who has shown great leadership qualities to steer the ITU ship this far. As we say in Africa, if you want to go quickly … go alone, if you want to go far …go together, let us all go together as we take ITU to greater heights.
On behalf of my delegation I wish to express my gratitude to you for the able manner you are handling this conference and I have no doubt that this will be a highly successful Plenipotentiary conference and I wish you well for the rest of the conference.