EACO names first CEO
GOVERNMENT| July 25, 2012, 5 p.m.
By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda
Hodge Semakula, who has served the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) diligently as its pioneer Commission Secretary, has been appointed the first Executive Secretary (CEO) of the Kigali-based East African Communications Organisation (EACO) Secretariat.
EACO is the regional body which brings together Regulatory, Postal, Telecommunications and Broadcasting organisations in East African Community. The broad objective of EACO is to harmonise policies of the communications sector in East Africa which will promote further cooperation and integration of the five member states of the EAC.
Originally known as the East Africa Regulatory, Postal and Telecommunications Organisation (EARPTO), EACO is an example of a public, private partnership with a sole aim of improving access to affordable and quality communication services to the people of East Africa.
The decision to establish a permanent EACO Secretariat was taken during the 18th EACO Congress which was held at the Serena Kigali Hotel in Rwanda from May 23-27, 2011.
Semakula has been the Commission Secretary/Director for Legal Affairs since April 2000. As a pioneer Commission Secretary of UCC, Semakula participated in and contributed to the process of setting up the institutional framework of UCC in terms of developing the necessary policies, regulations, licences and building the current ICT regulatory regime in Uganda.
A trained lawyer, with a rich knowledge and experience in commercial and telecommunication/ICT law, Semakula holds a Masters of Laws (LLM) in IT and Telecommunications Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, a Masters in Public Administration and Management, a Bachelor of Laws both from Makerere University, and a Diploma in Legal Practice, among others.
Semakula, who beat off three competitors from three other East African member states for the job during interviews held in Kigali recently, will be heading a nascent organisation of 25 staff members of staff. EACO has three departments each headed by a manager – Legal and Advisory Services, ICT Assemblies, and Human Resources and Administration.
With over three decades of distinguished career as a corporate lawyer and administrator in large public bodies, Semakula has a good grasp of the ICT industry and skills in ICT regulation. He is knowledgeable and experienced in civil, commercial/company law, insurance, banking, ICT and telecommunications and international business transactions. He also possesses knowledge and skills in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism like mediation and arbitration.
Owing to his rich knowledge and experience in ICT law and regulation Mr Semakula was in 2010 elected as a member of the Panel of Legal Experts of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (ITSO) based in Washington DC. Apart from attending ITSO meetings in his legal advisory capacity, he has been representing Uganda on that organisation for the last two years.
Before joining UCC, Semakula worked as the Company Secretary and later Acting Managing Director of the then Nile Hotel international Limited (1995-2000). His professional work experience started with the then Uganda Commercial Bank from 1977 to 1995 where he rose to the rank of Assistant Corporation Secretary before joining Nile Hotel International Limited.
“Semakula has been an invaluable human resource. A legal giant, he will always be missed. However, being appointed the maiden CEO of EACO, Semakula has done us proud. We wish him well in his new appointment,” said Godfrey Mutabazi, the UCC Executive Director. “Of all candidates from East Africa, UCC and Uganda as a whole is honoured to have produced the best to head the Secretariat,” he added.
MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS
BotswanaPost terminates vouchers; turns to techBotswanaPost is embracing technology to transition from being a ‘traditionalist’ Post Office to a service provider of choice. Read More
‘Spy machine’ to roll out this monthThe Malawi Regulatory Authority (Macra) has disclosed that the implementation of the Consolidated ICT Regulatory Management System (Cirms), famed as a ‘spy machine’, would start by the end of this month. Read More
Malawi to advance technological innovationsMalawi’s government has launched a Global Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments report, to support technological innovation. Read More
E-Waste management workshop on the cardsThe Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has lined up a series of workshops this year one of them being the upcoming half day consultative workshop on Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Management in the Communications Sector. Read More
NIMC moves to accelerate issue of e-ID cardsNigeria’s National Identity Management Commission has concluded its International Vendors’ Summit aimed at ensuring that citizens who have enrolled for their National Identification Number get their National e-ID Cards on time. Read More
NCS blames shoddy preparations for neglect of IT in electionThe Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) has blamed tardiness in project management, and challenges in logistics and security, for neglect of ICT by the government and the electoral umpires. Read More
Rwanda’s ICT private sector strengthens commercial ties with IsraelIn an attempt to fast track growth of the sector and the capacity of the players in the ICT sector, every year the Rwanda’s ICT Chamber chooses priority countries to visit to strengthen business ties and to study the global best practices in business, innovation, workforce development and to ... Read More
Senegal prepares national plan to protect children onlineSenegal is taking action to ensure that its children are protected online and do not become victims of harmful content, cybercrime, bullying and other criminal offences perpetrated by syndicates on the internet. Read More
Ivory Coast moves to close digital divideThe government of Ivory Coast has launched a project to help half a million families own IT equipment and connect to the internet in the next three years. Read More
Mabeo blames cable thieves for erratic ICT servicesBotswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo, has pointed to power failure, vandalism and theft of copper and fibre cables as the main contributors to disruptions in ICT services. Read More
FEATURED STORY2bn priced out of internet access
A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.