Closing a two-day, joint EACO-SADC meeting organized to deliberate and come up with a common position for the up-coming World Radio Communication (WRC-19) meeting in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Director General Eng. James Kilaba said bridging the digital divide was of profound importance for upgrading people’s living standards.
Eng. Kilaba told EACO-SADC officials from 20 countries that sustainable development for the region should not be discriminatory but focused on benefiting masses of the population in respective areas as people have a key role to play to bring about development.
“The majority of people in Africa live in rural areas and the population is dispersed. There have been many efforts from different organizations such as Google, Facebook and others to ensure that these people are connected with the rest of the world. Such efforts should be up-graded,” he said.
He urged the 32delegates to give special attention and consideration to WRC-19 agenda items which seek spectrum for cost effective connectivity solutions in rural areas.
“Wireless communication is among cost effective means to connect dispersed populations in rural and underserved areas. Let us use this opportunity to come up with agenda that will address the African environment and worked upon for the four years WRC cycle for improving the communication industry in Africa,” he further noted.
The TCRA chief executive expressed satisfaction thatrRadio-communication services like satellite, maritime, aeronautical and armature were among agenda items proposed for the two day meeting. He said the satellite industry plays significant role in communication reach especially in Africa where the population is dispersed.
“Maritime and aeronautical services are vital for the transport industry and require high attention in terms of spectrum needs and security. Any new technologies to support development of the mentioned industries should be supported, provided they operate in harmony without causing interferences to other services,” he specified.
Eng. Kilaba urged the delegates, who largely comprised of professional communication engineers, to take note that that the technology system to be used should not be prone to interference but should be enabling and accommodative for other systems.
The two-day intensive deliberations managed to discuss 28 WRC-19 agenda items and harmonized agenda items by around 90 per cent, with Eng’ Kilaba expressing the view that this would enable the regional blocks to have a strong voice at the next African Telecommunication Union (ATU) meeting.
The just ended joint EACO-SADC meeting was hosted by TCRA with intent to come up with a common position for the two regional blocks bracing for the WRC-19 conference that will be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in November.