[leadership] Ministers of information and Communication Technologies in Africa have reaffirmed the urgent need to fast track the implementation of the reference framework for the harmonisation of telecommunications policies and regulations in the continent.
They also called for the implementation of African regional plan for the knowledge economy.
The ministers reached this decision at the end of the 3rd African Union conference of Ministers of Information and Communication Technologies in Africa, which ended yesterday in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure, has said that the Union was working in collaboration with UNESCO for the creation of a Broadband Commission to accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Toure, stressed the need for the continent to put in place, technical, legal and regulatory measures to ensure the cyberspace protects children and other vulnerable segments of the population.
The ITU boss informed the delegates at the conference that partners of the Kigali Connect Africa Summit had agreed to invest $55 billion in Africa by 2015, stating that as at 2009, $21 billion had already been invested by the group.
Continuing, the ICT ministers also reiterated the need to address the lack of broadband capacity in Africa and tackle the legal, policy and regulatory obstacles for cross-border provisions of ICT infrastructure and services.
They also called for the implementation of the action plan for the development of postal services in the continent, even as they adopted the declaration requesting the African Union Commission (AUC) to work with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and all development partners to pursue activities relating to the harmonisation of policies and regulations in the continent.
In addition, the ministers called for the setting up of structures on the establishment of the African Space Agency, taking into account, exiting initiatives, and developing an African space policy in co-operation with the RECs, UNECA and ITU.
They also urged the African Union Commission to set up structures for the implementation of the DotAfrica project.
Addressing journalists at the close of the conference, Minister of State for Information and Communications, Mr Labaran Maku, urged African leaders to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.
He urged the leaders to match action with words, saying the continent should be able to implement the recommendations before the next meeting of the ministers in Sudan. Maku commended the federal government for hosting the conference.
African Ministers Agree to Harmonise Telecom Policies, Regulations