24 January 2002
The Administrative Council of the African
Telecommunications Union (ATU) held its First Extraordinary Session in
Nairobi, Kenya, from 22 - 24 January 2002.
The following 14 Member States of the Administrative
Council present were:
- North Africa - Egypt
- West Africa - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote
d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria
- Central Africa Burundi, Cameroon,
- East Africa - Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania,
- Southern Africa - Zambia.
Kenya also attended in its capacity as
The following Member States of the Administrative
Council sent apologies:
- North Africa - Tunisia
- Central Africa - Central African Republic,
- Southern Africa - Lesotho, Malawi
The following Member States, Associate
Member and Organisation attended the meeting as observers:
- Telkom Kenya Limited
The African Connection Centre attended
as member of the General Secretariat.
The Council was honoured by the presence
of Hon. Augustine Mwape, Minister of Transport and Communications, Republic
of Zambia and Chairman of the ATU Conference of Plenipotentiaries who
presided over the opening ceremony and Hon. John Achuliwor MP, Deputy
Minister of Communications and Technology, Republic of Ghana.
In his address to Council, Hon. Mwape drew
attention to the great economic challenges facing Africa in spite of its
abundant human and natural resources. He recalled the great vision of
our forefathers in setting up machinery for the African Union. He stressed
that it now behoves each and everyone and in particular the African technocrats
to strive to achieve the noble objectives.
He drew attention to the strategic importance
of the info-communications infrastructure to economic development and
added that the Council as an important organ of the Union had a critical
role to play in fostering these objectives.
The Hon. John Achuliwor, Deputy Minister
of Communications and Technology, Republic of Ghana, added his voice to
the appeal for African technicians to adopt practical measures in enhancing
the growth of info-communication technology in the African region. He
stressed the need for effective participation at international fora to
ensure that Africa's priorities and aspirations are realised.
In his remarks, the Chairman welcomed delegates
to the session and expressed appreciation to the Government and People
of Kenya for hosting this 1st Extraordinary Session of the ATU Administrative
Lastly, the Secretary General, drew attention
to the significance of this Council Session whose principal objective
was firstly to adopt an effective consultative process for evolving African
Common Proposals/Positions for international conferences and secondly
initiate the process for formulation of ATU's Strategic Plan for 2002/2006
Significant results were achieved by Council
following intensive discussions on the practical modalities of evolving
cost effective approaches to conference co-ordination strategies. Having
considered various possible alternatives, the Council unanimously agreed
to adopt a mechanism that would employ co-ordination through Regional
Economic Communities as vital focal points for hormonising conference
The Secretariat would maintain close working relationships in this regard
and would also interact with Member States in or der to establish harmonised
continental positions. A resolution outlining detailed approaches in this
regard was adopted.
A review of all other impending conferences
was also made and the appropriate guidelines given.
The Council noted the existence of a Committee
for Strategic Planning whose membership had been enlarged and open to
other members. This Committee would develop a new ATU Strategic Plan for
2002-2006 and also consider the preparatory processes for the First ATU
Technical and Development Conference 2°°2, the Celebration of
the 25th Anniversary of ATU, 7th December 2002 and the ATU Conference
of Plenipotentiaries 2002 in Sudan.
A resolution was adopted urging the Republic
of Sudan to do its utmost to host the ATU Conference of Plenipotentiaries
before the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference of Marrakech, Morocco in September/October
The Council adopted the following theme
for the 2002 ATU Day Celebrations: "Africa and the Global Info-communications
Technology Revolution: Opportunities and Challenges".