The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has commended country’s efforts in developing its ICT sector and has pledged to support the Zambian government meets its objectives in growing this important industry.
Speaking when leader of the Zambian delegation to the ITU Telecom World 2011 Forum, Hon. Deputy Minister for Transport and Communications Mr. Mwenya Musenge paid a courtesy call on him during the Forum in Geneva this week, ITU Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun Toure said Zambia’s programmes to advance the ICT industry was very impressive.
He said ITU was committed to support the Zambian government’s vision by providing the necessary assistance to facilitate the implementation of the various programmes which the country had set for the sector.
He extended congratulations to the Patriotic Front led government for the recent election victory adding that he was certain completion of the development agenda in the ICT industry in Zambia would be achieved.
Mr. Musenga said that the Zambian government would continue with the ongoing projects in the sector and informed Dr. Toure that Zambia’s digital migration programme was on course adding that the country would be ready to switch to digital television by 2013 to meet the SADC deadline. The ITU has set June 2015 as the deadline for all countries to implement the switch.
Also speaking at the same meeting ZICTA Board Chairperson Mrs. Gertrude Mwangala -Euheni expressed appreciation of the fruitful collaboration that Zambia which was a member state, was enjoying with the ITU.
ZICTA Director General Mrs. Margaret Chalwe-Mudenda thanked Dr. Toure for the Programmes the ITU is facilitating for the Zambian government. This year, the ITU is supporting Zambia through ZICTA in areas of emergency telecommunications and climate change, establishment of standards for ICT products, cyber-security and workshops for various stakeholders including the judiciary and government departments. The ITU has also in the recent past, assisted Zambia with emergency communication equipment for use during flooding disasters.
Earlier, Mr. Musenge had a meeting with ITU Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) Mr. Brahima Sanou to discuss the various programmes.
Zambia also hosted a pavilion in the ITU Telecom World 2011 Exhibition area with representations from Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, ZICTA, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and two private firms – Enfin Solutions and Realtime which is an internet service provider.
Meanwhile, ITU Telecom World Forum which was also celebrating its 40th anniversary was attended by world leaders, including Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, national ambassadors, Heads of regulatory agencies, and CEOs from different countries.
Over 6,500 top-level participants and hundreds of thousands of other participants from around the world interacting in real-time via webcasts and twitter streams took part in the Forum. About 237 companies from 41 countries including Zambia participated in the Exhibition.
It provided a platform for high-level networking, knowledge exchange and deal-making for the participants from around the world who were in attendance.
The forum was interactive and accorded delegates the opportunity to discuss important issues in the ICT industry which include broadband, connecting cities, harnessing innovation and next-generation wireless advances.
The event also had a Leadership summit which looked at ways to address matters raised by broadband deployment such as challenges of infrastructure financing in poorer nations and isolated regions to cyber-security, data privacy and intellectual property rights.
Dr Hamadoun Toure emphasized the importance of dialogue by all stakeholders to share best practices in order for ICT users to be offered the best quality of service.
Ngabo Nankonde (Ms) Friday October 28, 2011
PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER