The General Assembly of the African Regional Organization for Standardization (ARSO) held its 11th ordinary session on 1-2 February 2001 in Nairobi to elect new office bearers for the period 2001-2003 and specify the policy direction of the organization for the next programme cycle.

The African Telecommunications Union (ATU) was invited to attend the meeting as an observer and its Secretary General, Mr. Jan Mutai represented the Union at the meeting.

The Secretary General of ATU made the following interventions that resulted into resolutions that were adopted by the General Assembly:

  • During the agenda item on "Statements by Observer Organizations" the ATU Secretary General proposed that ARSO should work with ATU to create regional ICT (Information and Communication Technology) standards for emerging digital economies. The General Assembly translated this proposal into 'Resolution 13' that urges ARSO to co-operate with ATU in standards formulation for ICT equipment and services.
  • Contributing to the agenda on "Financing of ARSO Operations", the ATU Secretary General proposed inclusion of the private sector, the user of standards, to participate in the activities of the organization in their capacity as ARSO Associate Members. The General Assembly translated this proposal by adopting 'Resolution 17' that requests the Administrative Council of ARSO to propose amendments to the Constitution with a view to creating Associate Member category from the private sector that will participate in the activities of the organization and also contribute to its budget.

Hon. Nicholas Biwott, EGH, MP, the Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Industry. opened the General Assembly. In his opening address, the Honourable Minister urged the recruitment of potential Members States in order to strengthen ARSO when dealing with regional and global standardization issues. The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Hon.Dr. Godana Bonaya, EGH, MP who was represented by his Assistant Minister, Hon. Mohamed Affey, closed the meeting on 2/2/2001. In his closing address the Honourable Minister stated that standardization in Member States is increasingly becoming important now when liberalization and globalization of businesses are the order of the day.

The General Assembly elected Malawi represented by Mr. Austin Khulumula the President of the Assembly. It also elected Mauritius represented by Mr. A. C Hurdoyal the Vice President. Finally, it elected Guinea represented by Mrs. Minte Cisse the Treasurer.

The highlights of the General Assembly were marked by the large number of resolutions adopted, eighteen in all, aiming at providing policy direction of the organization for the following three years i.e. 2001-2003. These included the resolutions for private sector participation and co-operation with ATU as highlighted above.

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