Rwanda to chair Africa telecom forum

KIGALI - Rwanda was, yesterday, appointed to head the Forum on Telecommunication Regulation and Partnership in Africa (FTRA). The forum annually brings together ICT experts, policymakers and regulatory bodies around Africa to discuss various ICT related issues.
ICT Minister Ignace Gatare (R) speaks to the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau. Brahima Sanou (L) and Kebe Abdoulaye from Guinea. (Photo J Mbanda)
ICT Minister Ignace Gatare (R) speaks to the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau. Brahima Sanou (L) and Kebe Abdoulaye from Guinea. (Photo J Mbanda)

KIGALI - Rwanda was, yesterday, appointed to head the Forum on Telecommunication Regulation and Partnership in Africa (FTRA).

The forum annually brings together ICT experts, policymakers and regulatory bodies around Africa to discuss various ICT related issues.

It is supported by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

This year’s meeting that convened in Kigali, agreed that Rwanda takes over the presidency from Gambia, which has been heading the forum for the last one year.

Speaking at the closure of the three-day meeting, Rwanda’s Francois Regis Gatarayiha, the Director of Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), said that the country is ready for the challenge.

“We take this as a challenge and a given opportunity. We want to make a difference, to see that the recommendations made during this meeting are implemented,” said Gatarayiha.

This year’s forum was convened to discuss ways of establishing Cloud Computing and development prospects of ICT in Africa.

The principle behind Cloud Computing is that any computer connected to the Internet is connected to the same pool of computing power, applications, and files.

Users can store and access personal files such as music, pictures, videos, and bookmarks or play games or do word processing on a remote server rather than physically carrying around a storage medium such as a DVD or thumb drive.

Addressing the gathering, the ITU Regional office Director, Asenath Mpatwa, urged participants to move swiftly and implement the recommendations of the meeting.

“The onus to make this happen depends on you. You’re the ones in the driver’s seat,” said Mpatwa.

Among the recommendations is the quick implementation of Broadband Internet in the whole of Africa to allow the operation of Cloud Computing and the harmonisation of the standards to ensure security of data when the technology is launched.

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