SPACEINAFRICA 27 FEB 2020
In a press document released yesterday by the African Telecommunication Union(ATU), South Sudan has shown interest to join the number of Africa countries with satellite resources, having served her notice for satellite resources at the sensitisation workshop organised last week by the African Telecommunication Union(ATU), in Nairobi, Kenya.
To implement the ITU WRC-19 Agenda 1.4, ATU partnered with the Communication Authority of Kenya and the International Telecommunication Union(ITU) to converge a week-long workshop from the 17-21 of February, for 31 African countries with obsolete satellite frequencies.
The objective of the training, according to the press release by the ATU, was ” to share newly available resources and to generate corresponding satellite notices to the ITU.
The document further stated that these countries stand a chance to use these new satellite resources to launch new satellite Television frequencies.
The new usable satellite slots would bridge the gap in the African communication sector and leapfrog sustainable development in the continent.
Speaking on the idea behind the workshop, the Secretary-General of the ATU, John Omo, reiterated the importance of the training.
In his words: “This workshop is the implementation of one of the decisions of the World Radiocommunication Conference that was held for the first time in A Africa, in 2019, at Sharma El-Sheikh, Egypt, where the ATU made a request for a special window for generating satellite notices.”
According to him, leveraging space applications is crucial to addressing the continent’s socio-economic needs, as they provide critical evidence-based information needed to efficiently manage human habitats, ecosystem and natural resources. So far, space-faring nations on the continent are leveraging space applications and data, sourced from their launched satellites, to address socio-economic and developmental issues.
The notice for the allocation of new usable satellite slots spans from the need to free up unused orbital slots allocated to several African countries twenty years ago, which has been subjected to degradation and interference from other satellite networks, for other uses, as the continent needs to measure up with her contemporaries in terms of digital broadcasting and communication and harness the economic benefits of such advancements.
The African Telecommunication Union(ATU) was founded in 1977 as a specialised agency of the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union, in the field of telecommunications, but assumed its present name in 1999. This led to the transformation of the agency into a partnership between public and private stakeholders in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
The Union is the leading continental organisation fostering the development of information and communication technologies infrastructure and services, with a mandate to promote the rapid development of info-communications in Africa in order to achieve universal access, and full inter-country connectivity.
ATU provides a forum for stakeholders involved in ICT to formulate effective policies and strategies aimed at improving access to information infrastructure and services. The Union currently has 44 Member States and 16 Associate Members (comprising fixed and mobile telecom operators) and serves the interests of its members at global decision-making conferences. It promotes initiatives directed at integrating regional markets, attracting investment into ICT infrastructure, and building institutional and human capacity.
Meanwhile, the ITU has set May 22, 2019, as the deadline for submission of satellite notices.