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African telecommunications standards meeting underway in Entebbe

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 18th October 2019 02:53 PM

WTSA is one of the structures of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized United Nations Agency.

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UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi with some of the delegates ( Photos by Geoffrey Mutegeki)

WTSA is one of the structures of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized United Nations Agency.

TELECOMMUNICATION  DIGITALISATION 

KAMPALA - Over 200 delegates from across Africa have gathered in Entebbe for the second African preparatory meeting for the World Telecommunications Standards Assembly (WTSA-20).

WTSA is one of the structures of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a specialized United Nations Agency responsible for Information and Communication Technology related matters.

The delegates from 16 African countries will discuss key issues regarding Telecommunications Standardisation in the continent for the next two days.

The meeting is being hosted by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) at Imperial Golf View Hotel and will climax on October 11.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Frank Tumwebaze  who was represented by the ministry PS Vincent Waiswa said, Government is committed to the global agenda of harnessing information to improve people's lives.

 



"Africa was left behind in previous industrial revolution stages; the age of steam engine; the age of electricity and mass production; and the age if computers or digitalisation. We must not let the fourth industrial revolution communication and connectivity pass us by," Tumwebaze said.

He revealed that the preparatory meeting provides an opportunity for Uganda and other countries to align their position to the WTSA2020.

The first preparatory meeting was held in Morroco in March 2019.

The UCC Executive Director,  Godfrey Mutabazi noted that ICT continues to transform the way people live through proliferation of OTT services and Value Added Services among others.

He added that the universal standards are required to streamline matters of international internet Connectivity, mobile finance, counterfeit devices, spam, cyber security among others.

"African countries are vulnerable as our telecommunications infrastructure tends to be fragile or not well developed enough to deal with some of these challenges," Mutabazi said.

Telecommunications standards are necessary to facilitate global communications by ensuring that whether we exchange voice, video or data messages, different countries’ ICT networks: and devices are speaking the same language.

WTSA that is held every four years, sets the agenda of the International Telecommunications Union – Standardisation Sector (ITU – T) for the next 4 years.

The WTSA-20 will take place in Hyderabad, India, in November 2020.

The previous assembly, WTSA 2016, was held in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia, in November 2016.

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