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Former ITU Secretary General pays courtesy call at NCA

The former Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure, on Monday, June 4, 2018, paid a formal visit to the National Communications Authority (NCA) at the NCA Tower in Accra.

He was received by the Director General of NCA, Mr Joe Anokye and some Management staff.

Dr. Toure, who was on a private visit to Ghana is a long-standing champion of ICTs as a driver of social and economic development.

During his tenure, he placed considerable emphasis on implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). He launched projects based on partnerships with international organizations, governments, the private sector and civil society.

NCA Director General Mr. Joe Anokye welcomed him to the premises of the Authority and took the opportunity to brief Dr. Toure on the Authority’s achievements and ongoing projects over the years.

Amongst these projects is the successful merger of two telecommunications companies, Airtel and Tigo. This, he reiterated, is the first merger Ghana has carried out. He again mentioned the establishment of the Type Approval Laboratory, set up to determine the technical requirements of communication equipment and is also the first of its kind across Africa. The lab is expected to be launched in July 2018.

Briefing further, Mr. Anokye said the NCA, together with the Ghana Revenue Authority, were in the process of implementing a Common Platform Monitoring System for their various ministries, Communications and Finance respectively, saying that this was a concept to implement a law aimed at reducing the cost of separate monitoring systems. He threw more light on the monitoring system, informing Dr. Toure that the Common Platform has four main features, Traffic Monitoring, Revenue Assurance, Mobile Money Monitoring and Fraud Monitoring.

Mr. Anokye touched on NCA’s feat of making regulatory adjustments to permit Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) with existing 2G Licences to deploy Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems (UMTS), which is a 3G technology, in unserved and underserved communities to expand their data coverage across the country.

On Quality of Service (QoS) and Broadcast Monitoring, he added that, it is the Authority’s mandate to enforce compliance of the parameters stated in the Operators’ licences and to ensure that  consumers receive the required quality of service from their providers. To this end, he briefed the former ITU Boss that the Authority has begun publishing the QoS results from across the country for consumers to appreciate the quality of their networks.

Mr. Joe Anokye (L) with Dr. Toure
Mr. Joe Anokye (L) with Dr. Toure

In addition, Mr. Anokye highlighted on the progress of the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) migration process, the appointment of the Minister for Communications as the Minister in charge of National Cyber Security by the President of Ghana and the establishment of sectorial Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) across the country with the NCA CERT being inclusive. These, he said, will assist in the fight against cyber-crime.

Dr. Hamadoun Toure who is a Board Member of SMART Africa briefed the NCA on the background of SMART Africa, an alliance committed to the provision of leadership in accelerating socio-economic development through ICT’s with a total membership of 24 African countries including Ghana. Its main objective, he said, is for Africa to create partnerships, jobs entrepreneurship and share knowledge with the rest of the continent. Dr. Toure said to foster unity amongst member states, each country has the responsibility to pursue a flagship project upon joining SMART Africa. These projects include Smart Cities and Communities, Smart Africa Scholarship Fund, Digital Economy amongst others.

He mentioned that Africa currently has no Clearing House (CH), with all calls coming to the continent being routed through Belgium. This results in the generation of revenue for players outside the continent without any direct benefits to Africa. To this end, he said there has been consultations for Africa to create its own Clearing House to generate revenue. Smart Africa has contracted Global Voice Group (GVG) to build and carry out the operations of the CH, noting that this was the same company which was implementing the Common Platform in Ghana.

Dr. Hamadoun Toure was later taken on a tour of the NCA CERT and the Common Platform Monitoring Center, all located on the premises of NCA.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

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