Sadc ministers meet over digitisation, TV

via Sadc ministers meet over digitisation, TV | The Herald July 1, 2015

Sadc ministers responsible for information communication technologies and postal services held a meeting in Walvis Bay, Namibia recently focusing on several issues relating to digitisation among other ICT-related aspects like broadband networks and the setting up of a SADC TV bouquet.

Zimbabwe was represented by ICT, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, who also chaired the meeting as Zimbabwe is the current chair of the regional bloc.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services Engineer Samuel Kundishora chaired the meeting of senior officials that preceded the ministers’ meeting.

Several decisions and recommendations that would shape the trajectory of use of ICTs in the region were made.

The meeting noted that out of the 15-SADC member states, only four countries (Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia and Tanzania) managed to meet the June 17 digitisation deadline. However, it was observed that significant progress had been registered by all member states with the view to completely migrate from analogue broadcasting.

In a statement released by the SADC secretariat after the meeting, Minister Mandiwanzira said ICTs were a key economic growth enabler.

“Minister Mandiwanzira reiterated that ICTs are key enablers for achieving economic growth, environmental balance and social inclusion and that ICTs facilitate the delivery of information and services across all sectors of the economy within and across member states,” reads part of the statement.

“He said ICTs cannot be ignored as a tool for fostering fruitful and sustainable economic cooperation within and outside the SADC region.”

Namibia Minister of Information, Communications and Technology Tjekero Tweya said he was happy that since the adoption of the roadmap on digital broadcasting migration in Swakopmund in 2009, Namibia successfully migrated from analogue broadcasting within the set time-frame.

The ministers endorsed the revised SADC MoU on Cross Boarder Coordination that could be used by member states in the negotiations on cross boarder coordination of radio communications services and could also serve to prevent harmful interference to the fixed and mobile services optimising the use of frequency of spectrum.

The ministers urged member states to consider resolving outstanding cross boarder spillages.

The meeting also urged member states to support Dr Cosmas Zavazava from Zimbabwe for the position of director of Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union during the upcoming elections to be held in Dubai.