The African Telecommunications Union is owed 57.5 million in membership fees by 22 member states, the union's outgoing secretary-general has said.Mr Minemba Keita yesterday said the defaulting countries, had however, signed financial agreements with the union to clear 30 per cent of their arrears by May this year."This will enable the union to not only function properly but also bring home grown solutions into Africa's telecommunications problems," he said.
At the same time., Mr Keita observed, Africa incurs an estimated $250 million annually in lost telecommunication investment to the rest of the world.Mr Keita said this when he officially handed over office to the in coming secretary general of the union, Mr Jan Mutai, during a ceremony held at the Grand Regency Hotel, Nairobi.The function was attended by among others, Information, Transport and Communication minister, Mr Musalia Mudavadi, his Zambian counterpart, Prof Nkandu Luo and the Malianassistant minister for communications, Mr Sow Alpha.
Others were the managing director of Telkom Kenya. Mr Augustine Cheserem, director general of the Communications Commission of Kenya, Mr Samuel Chepkonga and Information, Transport and Communication permanent secretary, Mr Titus Naikuni.In his remarks, Mr Mutai said the continent's potential for telecommunication business was "t-mendous", given the ongoing thrust for policy reform and market restructuring.