GENEVA – Uganda Communications Commission (the Commission) Executive Director Mr Godfrey Mutabazi lead Uganda’s delegation for the International Telecommunications Union Council 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Uganda delegation comprised Commission board Members including Hon Wanjuzi Wasieba and Ms Angwech Pamela Judith alongside Ms Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the Director of Engineering, Communication, and Infrastructure among others. The Commission is mandated to coordinate and collaborate with the relevant national and international organisations in matters relating to communications in the effort to provide for the development of a robust communication sector.
The Executive Director Mr Godfrey Mutabazi met with the ITU Secretary-General Mr Houlin Zhao during a sideline meeting at the ITU Council 2019. Mr Mutabazi congratulated him upon re-election and thanked him for considering Uganda’s re-election to Council. Mutabazi further extended the Commission’s gratitude for honouring the invitation to the UCC at 20 celebrations hosted last year.
Mr Houlin Zhao was thankful and considered Uganda good friends. Zhao was impressed by the country’s commitment to growing and providing access to ICTs as enablers for growth and economic development. The meeting mostly focused on the Secretary General’s key priorities and mutual support to achieve the same
Mr Mutabazi also met with Mr Mario Maniewicz, the Director of Radiocommunication Bureau (BR). The two directors discussed commitment to support the work of the ITU-R in the next cycle. Mutabazi congratulated Maniewicz upon election to the International Telecommunications Union Executive team noting that Uganda worked well with the previous director and is happy to continue with this relationship.
“I extend Uganda’s gratitude to the Radiocommunications sector for the spectrum workshops that have helped our technical teams to improve on ITU’s filing tools, mechanisms, and processes,” expressed Mr Mutabazi.
Mutabazi explained that Uganda is also focusing on strengthening mechanisms and processes to handle the spectrum requirements of the new technologies, especially 5G and to improve filing and coordination with ITU-R, including Satellite coordination. He also expressed Uganda’s commitment to building local capacity in terms of contributing to the work of ITU, as well as the implementation of outcomes and recommendations.
Ms Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo the Director engineering and Communications Infrastructure meet with the US Head of Delegation 2019 World Radio Conference (WRC) Ms Grace Koh and Ms Kelly O’Keefe the Chief of Staff U.S WRC – 19 Delegation. The team broadly discussed technical issues for the preparations for WRC 2019 considering positions and desirable outcomes for the World Radio Congress 2019.
Uganda was last year re-elected to the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Dubai, UAE, for the 2019-2022 cycle.
During the session of Council, the Ugandan delegation held several separate talks with various parties of interest to establish good working relationships with ITU sector directors and to position Uganda as a strategic development partner within the region.
For purposes of our readers, the ITU comprises three sectors, each managing a different aspect on behalf of the Union. The Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) that controls the international radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbit resources; the standardisation Sector (ITU-T) that standardises global telecommunications; the Development Sector (ITU-D) that helps spread equitable, sustainable and affordable access to information and communication technologies (ICT).
The ITU leadership hierarchy is also important to note which includes; The Secretary-General – Houlin Zhao, the Deputy Secretary-General – Malcolm Johnson, the Directors of Each of the three Sectors as mentioned above, the ITU Council to which Uganda is a member and the ITU Radio Regulations Board. All these are elective positions with a four-year term. Elections are by the 193 member states and held during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.
The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference consists of the representatives of the Member States of the Union and is the supreme organ of the Union and the decision-making body that determines the direction of the Union and its activities.
The Council, on the other hand, acts as the Union’s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences. Its role is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues to ensure that the Union’s activities, policies and strategies adequately respond to today’s dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunications environment.
The ITU Council reviews general policy, strategy, and planning issues of the Union. In particular, the council oversees preparations for major ITU events, implementation of the strategic plan and activities of the Union, Membership issue, Approves the biennial budget, Approves rolling operational plans for the Sectors and the General Secretariat, Reviews revenue and expenditure and financial operating reports, Addresses staff issues and implementation of the HR strategic plan.