Kenya Guns For Top ICT Positions In Africa And Globally
John Omo, Kenya’s candidate for the post of Secretary General,African Telecommunications Union (ATU).
Kenya is eying top positions in ICT organizations in the continental and at the global level. In Africa, Kenya is seeking the Secretary General’s seat of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), the continental ICT body. The elections will be held on 17th August at the ATU Conference of Plenipotentiaries, also being hosted by Kenya alongside other meetings.
At the global level, Kenya is seeking to be re-elected to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council, a key decision making organ of the UN specialized agency for ICTs.
For the two positions, Kenya is banking on its strong and vibrant ICT industry in the region as a launch pad for the leadership positions.
At the ITU, Kenya is seeks to get one of the 13 slots reserved to the African continent out of the 48 seats of the Council. Kenya has been a member of the Council since 1982. The ITU Council oversees the affairs of the Union in between Plenipotentiary Conferences usually held every four years.
In the region, Kenya is fronting Mr. John Omo as its flag bearer for the position of Secretary General of the ATU. The contest has also attracted candidatures from Chad, Nigeria, Republic of Congo and Burundi. The seat is currently held by Mr.Abdulakarim Soumaila a national of Niger, who is currently serving his second and final four-year term.
Mr.Omo is currently the Director of Legal Services at the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and brings along a wealth of experience in the ICT industry spanning over 25 years.
His vision is to re-model the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) into a member-responsive organization that serves as the reference point for ICT on the continent in order to propel socio-economic transformation.
‘‘I envision ATU as that one united voice of the continent on matters ICT through leveraging on the collective efforts of stakeholders, including the academia, industry players, governments, and other intergovernmental organizations,’’ says Mr.Omo.
His priority is to build the capacity of member states, increase access to broadband, strengthen cross-border interconnectivity, and infuse innovation that can enable Africa harness the immeasurable opportunities that the digital age presents.
Mr. Omo has been instrumental in the development of legal instruments for various bodies dealing with ICTs regionally and globally. Mr.Omo has overseen critical legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that have spurred the development of ICTs.
Additionally, he has held leadership positions at a number of fora in regional and international organizations. These include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), Universal Postal Union (UPU), East African Communications Organization (EACO), Association of Regulators of Information and Communications of Eastern Africa (ARICEA), among others.
‘‘I therefore bring a deep understanding and appreciation of the key issues affecting the ICT sector across the continent and will leverage on this expertise to steer the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) to greater levels of prosperity,’’ says Mr.Omo.
Since the beginning of 2018, Kenya has mounted intensive campaigns the ATU and ITU positions at various regional and global forums.
Elections for the ATU Secretary General’s position will be held on 17th August 2018 in Nairobi during the ATU Conference of Plenipotentiaries, the top decision making organ of the ATU. Kenya is currently hosting the ATU headquarters on a temporary basis.
The ATU elections will be preceded by a series of other meetings, that will discuss pertinent issues on the development of ICTs on the continent, from 9th August 2018 at the Safari Park Hotel and Casino.
On the other hand, elections for the ITU Council will be held in November 2018 during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference scheduled to be held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
About Mr. John Omo
Mr. John Omo is a distinguished lawyer with over 25 years experience in international legal advisory roles, 18 of which are in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, in Kenya, regionally and globally. He is currently the Director for Legal Services at the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the country’s ICT regulator.
In his current capacity, Mr. Omo is responsible for providing strategic leadership over the Communications Authority’s legal policies and activities. These include, but are not limited to, provision of expertise; development of legislation; preparation and presentation of national positions at treaty-making, multilateral and bilateral negotiations. He also oversees the implementation of international obligations at the national level.