By Jessica Dogo
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to host the Conference of African Telecommunications Regulators on Consumer Affairs (CATCO) in Abuja from Aug. 20 to Aug. 22.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr Henry Nkemadu, the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs.
Danbatta said the 3-day conference with the theme: “Empowering the Telecom Consumer in an Era of Technological Evolution’’ is geared towards pursuing a continuous collaboration between African telecommunications regulatory Agency of individual country and their regional body.
He said the conference would look at how regulatory activities of the 54-member nations of African Union (AU) could be integrated for seamless connectivity to boost customers’ satisfaction.
Danbatta said bodies such as West Africa Telecommunication Regulatory Association (WATRA), East African Communications Organisation (EACO) among others would participate in the conference..
According to the EVC, the conference will provide the platform for Africa to establish unity, solidarity, collective self-reliance in the ICT sector.
“It will build on the principle of pan-Africanism within the Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) space; and sustaining a robust collaborative regulatory environment where current and future challenges are addressed,’’ he said.
Danbatta noted that participants are expected to provide varying and fresh perspectives to burning issues affecting telecoms consumers and service delivery in Africa.
He said that vital discussions would focus on the current state of telecom industry in the continent, ways to improve it and how to sustain a healthy telecom industry.
The EVC said that other areas that will be looked into are; challenges confronting African telecoms regulators, international best practices, emerging technologies and their applications for the benefits of consumers.
He said stakeholders from various African countries, Legislators and Government officials, Consumer Advocacy Groups, African Telecommunication Regulators and Regional bodies are all expected to be at the event.
“This year’s conference will advance on the gains of CATCO 2013 because it has been specially designed and tailored towards improving Africa telecommunications Industry in the 21st century.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that NCC hosted the first edition in 2013, in Lagos with the theme, “Harnessing Regulatory Policies to Protect Telecom Consumers in Africa’’.
No fewer than 15 African countries participated in the 2013 CATCO conference.