Telecommunications and Media Forum held in Johannesburg

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Best practice decision making to drive connectivity, accessibility and competitiveness

The International Institute of Communications held its final Telecommunications and Media Forum of  2015 in Johannesburg. The event was marked by a robust debate by speakers and delegates on what constitutes “best” practice policy and regulatory decision-making.

Over two days, senior executives representing regulators, industry, academia and civil society from Africa and beyond analyzed the opportunities and challenges of driving connectivity, accessibility, affordability and competitiveness in the global economy.

Participants also reviewed the progress of digital migration and examined planning and implementation of broadband infrastructure, through National Broadband Plans. A review of the Ghana migration experience showed that funding was the biggest challenge to the project as the country’s initial funding arrangement of a concessionary loan from China did not materialize.

Ghana also struggled to fund a public education campaign on the migration, as well as supporting the economically vulnerable in the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting. Governments still have a lot to do in reviewing existing broadcasting legal frameworks in order to support a successful analogue switch-off.

The Telecommunications and Media Forum was supported by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), and featured keynote addresses from South African ministries. Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, set the scene on the opening day where the focus was on infrastructure, funding and supply side issues with affordable, sustainable access recognized as a key development goal.

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