Geneva, April 4, 2019 - SAMENA Telecommunications Council, represented by Bocar A. Ba, emphasized on the importance of private sector engagement in the work of ITU-D during ITU-D’s Telecommunication Development Advisory Group. TDAG reviews priorities, strategies, operations and financial matters of the ITU and advises the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) on the implementation of the WTDC Action Plan, including issues relating to the budget and the operational plan of the Sector.
In his statement, Bocar Ba in the capacity of Chair of the Private Sector Chief Regulatory Officers’ (“CRO”) meeting highlighted, that while we have passed the 50/50 moment in bringing people online, we now have to take more focused efforts to bring the remaining 49% online, that are mainly rural, poor, with low levels of education, female and elderly. Mr. Ba stressed that this requires different, more bold approaches that are based on intensified collaboration between the private and the public sectors to create the right support ecosystem for technology deployment but also for the creation and provision of affordable, relevant and locally meaningful services. Bocar Ba highlighted that one key opportunity for private sector engagement is during the upcoming GSR 2019 in Vanuatu, where the CRO will convene for the 10th time. During the CRO, private sector has the opportunity to highlight key priorities and issues that pertain to regulation and wider industry issues that stand in the way of advancing connectivity and service delivery.
Mr. Ba outlined that this year, the CRO will discuss critical questions and propose ways forward from the industry’s perspective, on the main business challenges in creating connectivity partnerships and new investment- and business models to drive meaningful and inclusive connectivity to 100%, also in the context of ubiquitous coverage solutions for remote areas and emergency relief. The CRO will also examine the key types of commercial and regulatory enablers needed to achieve this goal of 100% connectivity together, in particular with a view to spectrum in the context of the upcoming WRC 19, which has a dedicated session at GSR.
Given this very important and relevant agenda, Bocar BA encouraged attendance and active participation by the private sector in GSR 2019, so that progress could be achieved with regards to establishing the right enabling environment for connectivity and services provision and to move forward together and contribute to ITU-D’s mandate toward achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).