World telecom regulators to meet in Libreville in June

By Issa Sikiti da Silva

A total of 130 telecommunication regulators out of the 193 member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will meet in the Gabonese capital Libreville on 9-11 June 2015 for the global forum for regulators.

The announcement was made by ITU Africa regional director Andrew Rugege during a last week’s visit to this oil-rich Central African nation, where he held urgent talks with Gabon PM Daniel Ona Ondo and Gabon regulator boss Lin Mombo.

The high-level global summit will be themed ‘Beware of the digital divide, applying regulatory incentives to reach the potential of digital’, the Geneva-based UN telecom agency said.

The meeting comes at the time when several African regulators, which appear to be remote-controlled by governments – are said to be struggling to keep up with the fast pace of technological mutations currently sweeping the world.

Many observers believe that underfunding, lack of expertise, high skilled personnel and latest technology and high-tech equipment, and tremendous pressure from operators and unnecessary state interference, among others, are denying African regulators the opportunity to perform to their full potential.

Rwanda-born Rugege said the meeting will help bring a new blood and breath into the regulation affairs, and at the same time act as a platform for sharing knowledge and experience among member states.

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