RELEASE ANNOUNCING THE CONCLUSION OF AN MOU
BETWEEN ATU AND RASCOM FOR TECHNICAL CO-OPERATION
IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SATELLITE INDUSTRY IN AFRICA.
28th September 2001
Telecommunications Union (ATU), the specialised agency of the Organisation
of African Unity (OAU) responsible for the co-ordination of the development
of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Africa is delighted
to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with
the Regional African Satellite Communications Organisation (RASCOM), the
organisation that is responsible for planning and installation of a dedicated
satellite communication system to cater for telecommunications, radio
and television broadcasting needs for Africa.
The purpose of establishing the MOU is to create a base on which ATU and
RASCOM will co-operate in undertaking joint projects that benefit their
respective membership. In this respect, the joint projects will be from
the following areas of co-operation:
Education and Training:
ATU and RASCOM
will establish a joint project that will work with the Association of
African Universities (AAU) for developing curricula/courses to fill the
satellite skills gaps. This project 'ATU Academy' will also create networking
platform for education and training institutions owned by Member States
for the evolution of priority training courses/programmes in satellite
communications to meet present and emerging skills requirements. ATU and
RASCOM will cooperate in search and administration of scholarships and
internships for deserving students in satellite communications.
The two parties
will cooperate in promoting satellite-related industries in Africa. Special
attention will be given to responding to special needs of small and medium
enterprises in accessing and developing intellectual property in the field.
commit to establish a stakeholders forum to bring together policy-makers,
regulators, and operators from time to time to deliberate on strategies
to be used in harnessing satellite technologies to bridge the digital
divide whilst contributing to creation of wealth to alleviate poverty.
The forum 'African Radiocommunication Forum' will also address the challenges
of global treaty-making to ensure Africa gets rightful share of orbital
resources and spectrum for launching its own satellites.
System- Services and products:
of the parties will be used to ensure that the services and products of
the RASCOM system are used fully and optimally to expand crossborder and
rural connectivity from day one the system is online. This initiative
of African Governments launched in 1992 is approaching the commercial
phase and all stakeholders are being rallied around to ensure it fulfills
the vision of its founders.
Done in Nairobi 28/9/2001