The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) should continue working with the African Telecommunications Union and Africa on initiatives and goals designed to bridge the digital divide in order to accelerate digital transformation in Africa, a senior official said on Friday.
South African Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said this in East London as South Africa successfully hosted the fourth Africa Preparatory Meeting (APM4-19) for the 2019 World Radio-communication Conference (WRC-19) which saw the Africa group finalising and harmonising 96 percent of Africa Common Proposals for WRC-19.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the week-long meeting on Friday, Ndabeni-Abraham said she appreciated the role that all stakeholders played in the success of the APM4-19.
To ensure that Africa’s development agenda was advanced and that this formed part of the conference outcomes, the minister urged the delegates to maintain the agreed proposals of the meeting.
“This approach will ensure that Africa remains unified at WRC 2019. A unified Africa will ensure that our developmental issues are addressed and achieved.
“As the Commander of the 4IR, I urge you to bring back spectrum allocations that will ensure connectivity to support 4IR and its innovations,” she said.
WRC is a treaty-level forum held three to four years by the ITU. It is tasked with reviewing and updating radio regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.
At WRC, countries decide on the allocation of the frequency spectrum to allow for the deployment of new technologies and the changing demand for different uses of the spectrum.