Forum on Telecommunication Regulation in Africa
Gaborone, Botswana, 25-27 October 2000

The Forum at which all African countries have been invited, is being jointly organised by the Telecommunications Development Bureau of the Internation Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Regional African Satellite Communications Organisation (RASCOM).

The Forum will be hosted by the Government of Botswana and the Botswana Telecommunications Authority. It will foster an exchange of views on current challenges in the area of telecommunications restructuring in African Countries. One of the main objectives is the preparation of regional action plans for improved support to reform activities in Africa.

One particular reason for this regional approach is the fact that the progress being made in institutionalizing regulation varies considerably from region to region. For example, the breakdown by region of countries which already have a separate regulatory body is as follows:

North Africa : 3 countries out of 6 (50%)
West Africa : 7 countries out of 16 (44%)
Central Africa : 4 countries out of 11 (36%)
East Africa : 5 countries out of 7 (71%)
Southern Africa : 8 countries out of 12 (73%)


A regional approach will make it possible not only to develop programmes focusing on a smaller number of countries and to take better account of similarities between countries (legal system, language,etc.), but also to identify and bring together different partners (regional organisations and finance institutions) from region to region.