ICT Cabinet Secretary Dr.Fred Matiang’i addressing delegates at the 4th and Final Regional Preparatory Meeting for the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) 2015.African countries are meeting in Nairobi to strategize on a common position before the 2015 WRC forum in Geneva Switzerland.The meeting ends on Friday,24th July,2015.

 

African countries have this week converged in Nairobi to formulate the continent’s position on frequency spectrum matters ahead of the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) in November 2015.

 

This week’s gathering is the fourth and final meeting for the African region and the deliberations will be critical in advancing Africa’s interests to grow the ICT sector at the global platform.

 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, ICT Cabinet Secretary, Dr.Fred Matiang’i said that when the world meets at the WRC in Geneva in November, Africa must speak with one voice “our interest as a continent should take precedence, even as we discuss the global framework for spectrum usage.”

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) statistics indicate that Internet penetration in Africa stands at 20.7% compared to the world average of 43 percent. Further, only 10.7% of households in Africa have Internet access at home.  “We therefore need to make every effort to have more people enjoy the privileges of Internet connectivity. This calls for wider network coverage in remote parts and underdeveloped regions.  Undoubtedly, to close the existing gap will require spectrum and orbit resources, and much more in infrastructure development,” said Dr. Matiang’i.

The ITU Africa Office representative, Mr. Jean-Jacques Massima, appreciated the efforts made by African countries to migrate to the digital broadcasting platform.  He noted that it is essential that for the development of broadband mobile, the digital migration be concluded to facilitate the harmonization of the digital dividend realized in the 700MHz and 800MHz.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Mr Francis Wangusi noted that, “the digital age and the radical transformations that accompany it have made profound changes in the way we use spectrum. Ultimately, it is expected of us to develop dynamic spectrum policies that will open new avenues for systems and applications to access the radio frequency spectrum.” He further appreciated the attendance of many African countries to enable the continent have a unified front at the WRC later in the year.

 

The WRC, held every four years, is mandated to review, and, if necessary, revise the radio regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum.