DRC pays US$440 000 debt to ATU
By Issa Sikiti da Silva, DRC
After paying 1.2 million franc Swiss in contribution fees arrears of 30 years to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has paid US$440 000 to the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), an amount that represents another debt in contribution fees for 17 years it was owing to this pan-African telecom institution.
DRC minister of posts, telecoms and ICTs Kin-Kiey Mulumba announced the good news to the press in Kinshasa last week.
Mulumba said that both payments have enabled the Central African nation to be restored as a full voting member to both organizations, and attend their congresses and related events.
ATU was founded in Kinshasa in 1977 and is an African Union’s specialised telecommunication agency.
Visiting ATU secretary general Abdulkarim Soumaila said he was impressed by the DRC’s commitment to clear all its debts vis-a-vis the two international organisations.
Despite being among African countries that spend less on ICTs, the DRC appears to have made inroads in this sector, with its ICT penetration having reached 23% in 2014 – an improvement duly acknowledged by UTI S-G Hamadoun Touré.
DRC’s 34 000 km fibre optic national network that is criss-crossing cities, townships and villages, is almost finished and is expected to improve broadband capacity and internet connection, and boost digital broadcasting.
Touré said that the major improvements made in the ICT sector by the DRC shows the commitment of its government to develop the ICTs under the leadership of President Joseph Kabila.