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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

East Africa to harmonize information communication technology

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The East African Community (EAC) member states plan to harmonize the information communication technology (ICT) sector in order to attract more foreign direct investments (FDI) into the region, officials said on Thursday.

Francis Wangusi, director general of Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) told a media briefing in Nairobi that the six partner states have small fragmented markets that have limited appeal to foreign investors.

“The trading bloc has commenced initiatives to harmonize all ICT sector laws in order to create a seamless regional market of over 160 million consumers,” Wangusi said during the launch of the 2019 Kuza Broadcasting Awards.

Wangusi noted that all six partner states currently have different national laws regulating the communication industry.

He observed that experts within the six partner states have already developed draft polices that will be domesticated by each country.

Wangusi said that the long term goal is to have an EAC ICT framework that is accessible, cost effective and of high quality.

According to the communications regulator, the regional trading bloc has already made significant progress towards developing one area network for the telecom sector.

“So far Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda have joined the EAC One Area Network that eliminates mobile telephone roaming charges while Tanzania and Burundi will soon join the initiative,” he said.

Wangusi said that harmonized tariffs on voice calls within the partner states will help to promote regional integration by reducing cost of communication in the region.

The CA official revealed that cross border mobile frequency coordination is also progressing as planned.

“The aim is to ensure that those living on borders area can access their home networks without interference from neighboring country mobile networks,” he added.

He observed that uncoordinated investments in the mobile transmission systems meant that some mobile telecommunication firms put in place powerful transmitters on border towns that could be detected deep into the territory of neighboring states.

             

 

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