Event Duration:
Event Date:
August 22, 2022
August 26, 2022

The Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) is convening the first meeting of the Universal Access and Service (UAS) Committee Meeting from 2 to 26August 2022. The meeting will be hosted by the Lesotho Communications Authority(LCA) at the LCA offices from 09h00 to 17h00 Central African Time (CAT).

This meeting sets the foundation for the implementation of the Committee’s Annual Operational Plan 2022/23 as approved by the 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Committee shall consider the development of the Annual Report on Broadband Connectivity and Access in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) for 2022 which aims to establish the status of the progress made towards addressing the broadband connectivity gap, specifically in attaining the SADC Broadband Targets 2025.

The Committee will also consider various regulatory initiatives to fast-track roll out of secure electronic communications infrastructure and services, as well as adoption strategies, in line with the commitment to universal and meaningful connectivity made by CRASA Members participating at the World Telecommunication Development Conference(WTDC) that was organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2022.

Noting that the broadband gaps exist in areas that are commercially unviable or with low levels of adoption, the meeting shall also consider various financing models and sustainability issues for UAS Projects and strategies to achieve universal access to Digital Financial Services.

The meeting will be preceded by a two-day workshop titled, “Re-defining and Enabling Universal Access and Service in the Era of Digital Transformation” on  22nd and 23rd August 2022. The main objective of the workshop is to enhance the capacity of CRASA Members in understanding various emerging and transformative technologies such as High- Altitude Platform Systems (HPS), satellite technologies, Wi-Fi Technologies etc to provide broadband connectivity solutions in rural and remote areas focusing on both the backbone and last mile connectivity.

The workshop will further explore challenges and solutions to enabling universal access to broadcasting services by examining regulatory strategies to facilitate the deployment of community radios and identify opportunities to enhance access to radio and television broadcasting services using the Over the Top Technologies (OTT) services with increased broadband connectivity.

The workshop will also provide the participants with an understanding of the emerging issues in postal market developments and examine the role of digital technologies in improving Postal Quality of Service (QoS) and enhancing provision of Universal Postal Services particularly in providing efficient last mile delivery;  gender considerations and accessibility requirements to enable Postal Universal Service Obligation (USO) as well as emerging trends in USO costing and funding.  

The Universal Access and Service Committee is currently chaired by tZambia, with Malawi as the Vice-Chairperson.