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700 Delegates to Attend International Telecom Regulator’s Meeting

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By Denis Kasule Ssebunya

Uganda expects to host up to 700 delegates for the first-ever International Telecommunication Union’s Global Symposium for Regulators (ITUGSR) in sub-Saharan Africa from July 1st to 4th, 2024.

ITU, a UN specialized agency responsible for ICT-related issues, facilitates international connectivity in communication networks, improves access to ICTs in underserved communities worldwide, and establishes global standards to foster seamless interconnectivity of networks and technologies.

The agency annually brings together ICT industry stakeholders, regulators, and policymakers to share experiences, exchange ideas, and collaborate on the best regulatory practices and policies. This meeting is known as the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), and its forthcoming edition in Uganda is the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking at the launch of the symposium, Godfrey Kabyanga, the State Minister for ICT and National Guidance, revealed that the meeting will bring together up to 700 delegates from various countries, offering another opportunity to uplift Uganda’s international image and promote its tourism potential worldwide.

“The symposium is not only an opportunity but also a test to the country, which we are ready to take on and win. Hosting 700 people is not easy, but we are ready to host them, and we shall make it,” he added.

According to Kabyanga, the gathering will spotlight Uganda to the international ICT community in a big way, boosting the country’s ambitious targets in this sector, especially leveraging it to develop the economy through poverty alleviation initiatives to improve the quality of life among Ugandans.

With membership of ITU council among other leadership roles, this gathering will not only underline our regional leadership credentials but also introduce us to the international stage. This Symposium aligns with the vision of the government of Uganda to leverage ICTs to drive social economic transformation, and improve people’s lives,” the minister explained.

The minister says Uganda has heavily invested in the development of its ICT sector, from which the results are evidenced. The government has over the years invested in information and communication technology infrastructure and created an enabling environment through a robust legal and regulatory framework to facilitate the digital transformation agenda.

Uganda now has four sectors of high focus for the socio-economic transformation of its people, including commercial agriculture, trade, industry, and ICT. To have a meeting discussing the improvement of ICT in Uganda is a dream come true that must be optimally utilized for the benefit of all stakeholders, for the good of all Ugandans.

Nyombi Thembo, the Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), highlighted Uganda’s decision to host this meeting, underscoring the country’s commitment to the ITU council, of which Uganda is a member, in shaping the global ICT agenda.

He adds that coming together as sector players, especially regulators, strengthens the implementation of national ICT agendas through sharing experiences and practices.

The symposium, which coincides with UCC’s 25th anniversary, is a platform for the commission to engage global key stakeholders in the ICT sector on its priority issues such as consumer empowerment, cybersecurity, data protection, broadband access, digital transformation, and global collaboration.

“We are particularly enthusiastic about showcasing Uganda’s success stories such as our universal communication access and service program, our experience in addressing infrastructure connectivity gaps, digital literacy gaps, which can provide valuable lessons to other countries facing similar challenges,” he said.

This gathering, marks a significant milestone for the country, showcasing its commitment to the ICT sector’s growth and global collaboration. It embraces the opportunity to share experiences, learn from others, and contribute to shaping the future of ICT in the region and beyond.

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