Tanzania attends the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference – WTDC – 2022 as it seeks support to be elected into ITU Council
Tanzania attends the International Telecommunication Development Conference (ITU WTDC - 2022), which is being held in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss and set development plans for the Global Telecommunications Sector, specifically plans for connecting the rural underserved to telecommunications services. The conference, organized by the United Nations Communications Agency (ITU), is being held in Africa for the first time.
As an active member of the ITU and participant in the conference, Tanzania takes advantage of this opportunity in Rwanda to seek support from ITU member states for election to the ITU Council at the ITU General Assembly in Bucharest, Romania, in September this year.
The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Director General Dr. Jabiri K. Bakari, who is attending the meeting outlined priorities of Tanzania's Telecommunications Services Regulator, emphasizing that TCRA is committed to keeping pace with technological changes by ensuring that it collaborates with other countries around the world to embrace and implement significant ICT reforms.
"Our goal is for this conference to ensure TCRA and, more importantly, our Country understands transformations in the global telecommunications and ICT sectors so that we, as a country, are not left behind as to ensure that we keep up pace with the rapidly expanding. ´ elaborated Dr. Bakari.
Tanzania will seek election to the ITU Council at the September Plenipotentiary Summit to be held in Bucharest, owing to the fact that Tanzania has become a hub for connecting countries off the coast of the Indian Ocean to the communication channel via the sea; it has also aided ICT reforms in the SADC region and Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, the message to the Council will be to defend the interests of the African continent, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, in ICT development. Tanzania currently provides ICT-based infrastructure solutions to the eight neighboring countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Malawi, and Kenya, with plans to expand to include the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and other landlocked countries in the region.
Commenting on the role of Tanzania in transforming the ICT sector in the African region, the Communications and Technology Resource Manager of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority, Engineer Mwesiga Felician noted that Tanzania is involved committedly in all global matters that involve making various resolutions for the development of the telecommunications and ICT sectors in the world and hopes to take advantage of the conference in Rwanda to seek support to be voted into ITU Plenipotentiary Council in a 2022 conference expected later in the year.
"Our goal is to make sure we use the opportunity of this conference to request support from our regional member states to endorse our country to be elected into the ITU Council during the General Assembly in September this year as this is an opportunity to increase our influence in promoting ICT in this region of Africa as we endeavor to build a digital economy," Felician said, adding that Tanzania's participation in the conference will help the country to become an ICT influential country in our region.
Furthermore, at the Summit, Tanzania met and held talks with the Australian Government through Australia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where they discussed issues to increase cooperation in the ICT sector, particularly in the policy, technical, and research areas, in addition to asking for support for the country to vote for Tanzania to become a member of the ITU Council.
Commenting on the talks held on the sidelines of ITU WTDC - 2022 the Director-General of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) Dr. Jabiri Bakari noted that Australia has agreed to support Tanzania in all areas of discussion and that it is pleased with the participation of higher education institutions in the Rwandan summit. Tanzania was represented at the conference by three higher education learning institutions: The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), and St. Joseph University.
"In short, we have agreed to partner with Australia in three areas, the policy area, the academic and research area, and technical issues across the ICT area, our colleagues have also expressed interest in the presence of three universities UDOM UDSM and DIT and pledged to develop partnerships” noted Bakari.
The Tanzanian delegation to the Conference is headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology Dr. Jim Yonaz assisted by the Director of Sector Affairs Dr. Emmanuel Mannaseh who led the delegation of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority, the Communications Authority which is responsible for managing the telecommunications sector in Tanzania. Other representatives are from the institutions of higher learning which are the University of Dar es Salaam, the Institute of Technology Dar es Salaam (DIT) and the University of St. Joseph of Dar es Salaam.
Every four years, the ITU organizes the Global Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) through its Communications Development (BDT) department to receive various topics, discuss the implementation of projects and programs important for global communication development, and focus on the growth of the global telecommunications industry. Furthermore, ITU WTDC - 2022 is the ITU's highest policy-making body, which also approves four-year strategic and financial plans and selects a team of senior executives from the organization, as well as members of the Organization's various Boards and ITU council.