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Experts of Telecommunication/ICT and post prepare to hold their ministerial statutory meetings

Niger’s Minister of Post, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, Mr Yahouza Sadissou lauded the decision to choose Niger to host the meeting of the 2nd Ordinary Session of the Board of the Regulatory Authority of the West African Postal Conference (WAPCO) and Meeting of Experts of Telecommunication/ICT of ECOWAS Member States.

The two meetings, which opened simultaneously in Niamey on 20 June 2016 are expected to be preparatory meetings to the 2nd Session of Ministers of Post scheduled to hold on 23 June 2016 and the 14th Meeting of ECOWAS Ministers of Telecommunication/ICT scheduled for 24 June 2016, also in the Niger capital.

The Ministers will consider the main documents presented to them by Experts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Experts of Posts who are expected to conclude their meetings on 22 June 2016.

The documents for the first meeting include the consideration of the Annual and Financial Reports as well as the Draft Budget of the CMPWA  for the 2016/2018 Financial Years, the 2016/2020 WAPCO Regional Action Plan, the West African Postal Services Master Plan as well as the draft Directive on Postal Reform and Regulation.

The Chairman of WAPCO’s Regulatory Authority, Mr Djéméléou, also drew participants’ attention to the bane to the smooth running of regional organisations, namely the challenge of payment of contributions.

«I would like to point out that out of a total budget of US$770,000 for the 2012/2016 quadrennial period, only US$250,000 have been paid-up by Member States, that is, 32.4%. Total amount of arrears of contributions is US$520,000, representing 67.53% of budget… I use the opportunity of this forum to appeal to defaulting countries to pay up, thus demonstrate their solidarity to the organisation, pleaded Mr Bilé.

As far as the second meeting, participants will consider the Regulation on the conditions of access of landlocked countries to national and international bandwidth on terrestrial networks in the Community, Strategy Paper on the ECOWAS ICT Sector for the 2016/2020 period, and last but not the least, the Status of Implementation of the 2011/2015 Strategic Plan.

The Niger Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, Yaouza Sadissou enjoined participants in the two preparatory meetings to demonstrate diligence in their deliberations to ensure that relevant recommendations are made, which will ensure the success of the meeting of the sectoral ministers.


On his part, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technology, Dr Isaias Barreto da Rosa recalled the relevance of ICT to the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 which involves moving from an ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of People.

«ICT is a cross-cutting sector to the realisation of this vision aimed at supporting and enhancing the regional integration process.  Indeed, Information and Communication Technologies remain the engine of regional integration in West Africa, stated Mr da Rosa.

ICT applications in the various sectors are considered as catalysts to socio-economic development, he explained, pointing out that they may facilitate the attainment of the objectives of sustainable development in ECOWAS Member States.

In the same vein, the President of the National Council of Post and Telecommunications of Niger, Mrs Bety Aïchatou Habibou buttressed the importance of ICT and the Post, which, according to her, constitute the means of communication between people and nations.

«The development of Post and Telecommunications networks and services depends on strengthening cooperation among countries, particularly in the governance of these sectors where regulators are invited to play the role of moderator and defender of the interests of all the parties present in this meeting, namely Member States, consumers and operators», declared Mrs Oumani.

The Chairman of Liberia’s Telecommunications Authority and Chair of the meeting, Mrs Angelique Weeks, whose country is the current Chair of ECOWAS emphasised the need for regional solidarity in the ICT sector.

«We cannot afford that any Member State be left out.  We hope each Member State would make reasonable effort to support ECOWAS in the attainment of its objectives through its post and telecommunications programmes», Mrs Weeks informed the participants.






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