Posted on: 29th March 2019
The United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) in collaboration with the World Bank this week hosted a capacity building workshop on emerging technologies for regulators in the region.
The Best Regulatory Practice seminar which began on Monday in Nairobi brings together regulators from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
Speaking during the opening of event, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) chairman Mr.Ngene Gituku said that the rapid changes in technology had left many ICT regulators playing catch up and as such, sessions like the one in Nairobi were important for continual acquisition of necessary skills.
‘‘The emergence of new services, including Over the Top services (OTTs), have left majority of regulators in the African region grappling with how to respond to these new market and business realities,’’ said Mr. Gituku.
Due to the cross-cutting nature of the challenges, Mr. Gituku said, enhanced collaboration such as that with the USSTI are essential in addressing the prevailing concerns. Such skills transfer are essential in narrowing the global digital divide majorly compounded by a skills and knowledge gap.
‘‘Indeed partnerships and collaborations are inevitable if we to make positive progress as a region. Continuous capacity building is inevitable if we are to maintain the momentum of ICT growth and innovation,’’ added Mr. Gituku.
CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said that that such capacity building initiatives play a big role in creating a shared understanding of the opportunities available for countries in the ICT space.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Director for Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin noted that collaborations were at the core of the ongoing global efforts to connect half of the world to ICT services.
‘‘Partnerships, effective and efficient regulatory frameworks and new approaches to licensing, spectrum management and universal service will be key to bring the next half of the world population online,’’ said Ms.Bogdan-Martin.
Former CA chairman Eng. Philip Okundi also spoke at the event. He was the Managing Director of the defunct Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) when the USTTI was founded in 1982 in Nairobi.
‘‘The onus is on the regulators and policy makers to ensure that they can learn fast and guide the sector appropriately through acquisition of such technical expertise as what the USTTI is offering,’’ he observed.
USTTI President Mr. Jim O’Connor noted that it was important for the new regulators in the region to gain exposure on the technical know-how that would enable them to effectively oversee their nascent ICT sectors.
Mr. Brendan Carr, a Commissioner with the US Federal Communications Commission also attended the event.
The USSTI was established in 1982 in Nairobi on the sidelines of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference in Nairobi. The Institute offers tuition-free curriculum supported by leaders and experts from government, industry and academia in the United States.
The weeklong seminar ended today.