This was held from 26-30 August 2019 in East London, South Africa with the main purpose being to advance the industry position on relevant agenda items such as core spectrum bands.
The meeting was attended by 310 participants from:
- Thirty-Five (35) African countries: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, DRC, Egypt, Eswatini, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tchad, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
- Twenty-Eight (28) associate members: Access Partnership, Apple, ASECNA, Boeing, Ericsson, ESOA, Eutelsat, Facebook, Globalstar, GSMA, Huawei, Inmarsat, Intel Corporation, Intelsat, Iridium, LS telecom, Motorola Solutions, MTN Group, Nokia, Omnispace LLC, OneWeb, Qualcomm, Realtime International, SES, Telesat, Viasat, Vodacom and YASMI LLC;
- One (1) African Regional Economic Community: EACO;
- The International Telecommunications Union (ITU);
- Five (05) regional organizations: APT, ASMG, CEPT, CITEL and RCC.
- Two (02) partner organisations: ICANN and ITSO;
- Twenty-Four (24) observer organizations/companies: BBI, CERNERVA LTD, Commonwealth ITU Group, COMSOL, DBI, DSA, DST, Mobile Telephone Networks, Multichoice, PRASA, SARAO, SENTECH, SILKWAVES, SOFTBANK, Telkom SA, TCI International Inc, TMG, Thales Alenia Space, Transet, Pakistan, PAK, Swarm Technologies, Zest ENCL Nigeria and ZTE Nigeria.
The opening ceremony saw welcome remarks delivered by the ATU Secretary-General, the ITU-R, the City Municipality and the South African Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies. In his remarks, the Secretary-General noted that the ATU has welcomed three new sector members –Ominspace, Telesat and Nokia.
The closing remarks were delivered by the:
- ITU Radiocommunication Bureau Director Mr Mario Maniewinz, who thanked ATU for the coordination of the preparation process for the WRC-19 for African countries. He also thanked South Africa for the excellent leadership of APM19-4 meeting and the success achieved. He emphasized on two major achievements of the APM19-4 as the adequate regional preparations towards WRC-19, the launch of the project on the optimization of the GE84 Plan for Africa and also applauded the working relationship that has continued to exist between ITU and ATU.
- ATU Secretary General Mr. John Omo, who thanked everyone for honouring the ATU invitation to the APM19-4 meeting and for the robust discussions that ensued. He urged all to work together in solidarity during the forthcoming WRC-19 to ensure the adoption of Africa’s proposals to the Conference and also proposed that the delegates consider setting a deadline for submission of input documents so as to have sufficient time to study and take instructions on them before the meeting in order to reduce on debate time.
- Hon Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies Ms. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams who appreciated the role that all the stakeholders played for the success of the meeting and urged the delegates to maintain the proposals as agreed during the meeting so as to ensure that Africa remains unified at WRC-19.
- Premier of the Eastern Cape Mr. Oscar Mabuyane echoed the Minister’s sentiments on the allocation of the spectrum which is a critical resource and asked the industry to respond swiftly.
With preparations for the conference finalised by the region, we now look forward to WRC19, between 28 October – 22 November 2019, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.