South Africa has been elected onto the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Executive Council and Radio Regulations Board (RRB).
Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele has successfully guided South Africa’s election onto the executive council and RRB at the Plenipotentiary Conference taking place in Dubai.
South Africa has been elected to serve in both ITU institutions until 2022. The country received overwhelming support from the 179 member states attending the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.
Cwele is leading the South African delegation at the conference, which is the highest decision making body of the United Nations’ specialised agency for the ICT sector.
“We are excited to be elected onto the ITU Council and the Radio Regulatory Board. We accept this enormous task with humility.
“We shall use the positions to push for the developmental agenda alongside the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” Minister Cwele said.
The ITU Council oversees the implementation of decisions of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conferences and manages the affairs of the union between the conferences.
As a member of the 48-member council, South Africa will continue to champion the development agenda, including the acceleration of broadband roll-out to support the Sustainable Development Goals, advocating for support of developing, least-developed, land-locked countries and small islands.
To advance the regional agenda, South Africa will work with other member states to lobby for the de-monopolisation of the manufacturing and software industry; champion ownership of critical ICT resource to boost Africa’s economy.
Additionally, South Africa’s participation at the ITU is to influence the agenda for spectrum. The allocation of spectrum is of significant interest as it relates to the roll-out of universal broadband and broadcasting services to reach all citizens of the global community.
South Africa will be represented by Mandla Mchunu in the Radio Regulations Board. The 12-person RRB is tasked with approving procedures for applying the provisions of the radio regulations and for registering spectrum frequency assignments made by the member states, addressing matters which cannot be resolved through the application of the Radio Regulations and Rules of Procedure amongst others activities.
Mchunu has over 20 years of experience in spectrum management and regulatory activities and has worked on domestic and international telecommunications/ICT matters.