[5th February 2024] The Second Meeting of the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) for the fiscal year 2023/24 of the Communications Regulators’ Association ofSouthern Africa (CRASA) was convened from 29th January to 2nd February 2024, at Avani Lesotho Hotel, Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho.
The Meeting was officially opened by the Chief Executive Officer of the Lesotho Communications Authority(LCA), Mr. Nizam Goolam. The meeting was hosted by LCA and was chaired by Dr.Imaja Itulelo of the Autorité de Régulation de la Poste et desTélécommunications du Congo (ARPTC) in his capacity as the Chairperson of ECC. All twelve (12) CRASA Members were in attendance.
The CEO of LCA called upon the CRASA Members to cooperate and collaborate. He stressed the transformative power of collaboration and digital connectivity in shaping the landscape of an interconnected region. He said that the fusion of collaboration and digital connectivity has become a driving force behind innovation, progress, and regional unity. On this note, the CEO recalled the various thematic areas that required cross border harmonization of regulatory frameworks including the licensing frameworks for the Non-Geostationary (NGSO) Satellites that had the capability to deliver high-speed and quality connections. He also called upon the members to urgently develop tools to provide sustainable solutions to the risks emanating from the mismanagement of the electronic waste. He drew the attention of the members to the need for regional collaboration to adoption of common policies and regulation to e-waste and sharing of information on best practices in e-waste management.
The Executive Secretary of CRASA, Ms. Bridget Mphatso Linzie,underscored the level of influence that CRASA can command at regional and international forums if CRASA members could go to such forums with one voice. The ES stressed the fact that regional collaboration was the engine that drove progress being the glue that binds diverse nations together and the key to overcoming shared challenges.
The ECC Chairperson, Dr.Itulelo highlighted the need for the committee to effectively implement projects that were of profound impact on regional integration. He said that ECC had a critical role to allow CRASA to achieve its strategic objective which was to assist the Southern African region to achieve digital transformation for the good of the public.
The meeting was preceded by a workshop on Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) of Type Approval and Conformity Assessment (CA) of Electronic Communication Equipment. The workshop sought to find the best strategies in the establishment and sustaining regional type approval laboratories. The workshop acknowledged the need to consider establishing testing facilities that address major concerns identified by the regulators in a cost-effective manner. It also considered a phased approach to establishment and implementation of framework MRA for homologation of ICT equipment in the SADC.