The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mabua Mabua, has implored SADC telecommunication operators to optimise the service performance of their networks to help drive development and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Officially opening the 5th Service Network Operations (SNO), Africa conference in Kasane on Wednesday, he said ICT has far reaching implications for African economies.
Several studies have shown that the development of telecommunications and ICT greatly improve the economic and commercial activities of countries, improve the effectiveness of social and emergency services and help distribute social, cultural and economic benefits more equitably. He added that African Countries must manage and monitor networks effectively for maximum optimisation.
Mabua said it is of utmost importance that operators identify bottlenecks that impact negatively on service delivery. “I urge you to be transparent, set up enquiry points, agree on technical standards, and interconnect or termination rates.”
Studies, he said, have shown that liberalization of the industry, will usher in increased competition, innovation and lowering of operational costs, benefits that will be passed to the end user. He raised concern that access to telecommunications and ICT, especially the Internet in Africa, is at the most negligible.
In his welcome remarks, the new BTC Group CEO, Mr Paul Taylor, assured delegates that the cordial relationship that SATA and BTC enjoy will continue under his leadership.
“At BTC, we have challenged ourselves to be a world class organisation that is more customer focused, get things done quickly and efficiently with a minimum of bureaucracy. I am confident that recommendations from this gathering will help BTC promote and support business opportunities within the telecommunications and ICT sectors that encourage further growth and development of both services and infrastructure.”
He urged delegates to ensure that the needs and demands of ‘our customers are met even exceeded without losing sight of the fact that we must create value for the shareholder’.
The findings of the South African Telecommunication Association (SATA) conference hosted by BTC Group will be presented during the International Telecommunication Union SNO conference that is going to be held in Melbourne, Australia, in October 2011.
The meeting brought together Service Network Operators (SNO) and their stakeholders in one place to discuss and agree on bilateral issues on Information and Communication Technology (ICT).