Maiden Africa-Asia telecom regulatory conference opens in Colombo
The first ever two-day Africa-Asia telecommunication regulatory Conference began yesterday in Colombo.
Organised jointly by the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), the conference is aimed at facilitating consultations between CTO members in Asia and Africa on critical emerging regulatory issues. They include spectrum management, next generation networks, mobile broadband, cyber security and IPv6.
These issues provide both challenges as well as new opportunities to regulators and the operators, the conference was told.
In view of the similarities in socio-economic development of the African and Asian members of the CTO, the conference is expected to arrive at consensual outcomes that would define common approaches to meet the regulatory challenges and in turn ensure that the potentials of these new developments are harnessed for the benefit of the people of Africa and Asia.
With a view to producing agreement on common approaches, the conference will foster discussions and consultations set against the context of a number of addresses on specially selected topics by eminent speakers. The international Telecommunications Union (ITU) has extended its support to this pivotal event through its association with the TRCSL.
Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation Dr. Sarath Amunugama was the Chief Guest at yesterday’s ceremonial inauguration of the conference at Cinnamon Lakeside.
Organisers said around 150 representatives from 19 Commonwealth countries are represented at the conference. They include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and United Kingdom.
Sri Lanka currently holds the Chairmanship of the CTO having been elected to that position at the 50th anniversary of the CTO held in Colombo in September 2010 and re-elected in 2011. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chairman of TRCLS acted as the Chairman of the CTO on behalf of Sri Lanka and chaired the 50th Council Meeting of the CTO in Colombo in 2010.
TRCSL Director General Anusha Palpita said: “Sri Lanka understands that learning is a two-way process. While we are pleased to share with our partners in the CTO, knowledge and expertise domiciled in the country, we are also willing to learn from them. In the connected world of ICTs, the process of partnerships and sharing will spell the difference between success and failure, in serving our people in our respective countries.”
CTO Chief Executive officer Prof. Tim Unwin said: “I congratulate TRCSL for taking the lead in organizing this important event to promote consultations between CTO’s constituencies in Africa and Asia. The CTO looks forward to disseminating the outcomes of the conference through its diverse avenues which I am sure will pave the way for cross-continental harmonization of activities in the emerging fields that form the focus of this event. Regulatory issues not only form part of our core mandate, but they are an essential issue in ensuring that the opportunities provided by ICTs are made available to all.”