REPORT OF THE FIRST SESSION OF 18TH EACO CONGRESS HELD AT
KIGALI SERENA HOTEL ON 23RD MAY 2011
The first session of the 18th EACO Congress meeting was held at the Kigali Serena
Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. The session began with speeches from the Director General or
representatives of RURA, ARCT, UCC, TCRA, CCK and PAPU. This was followed by the
speech of the Chief Guest, the Minister of ICT, Rwanda, Hon.Dr. Ignace Gatare
Highlights of the above mentioned speeches are given in Section 2.0.
After the opening of the congress, the meeting was followed by a workshop whose
theme was on national backbones and regional broadband networks and services.
Three presentations were made by the following individuals:-
1. Prof. David Mellor, Presentation titled “Quality, Diversity And Reliability
For The Benefit Of The Consumer”
2. Mr. Barry Kingsland, Presentation titled “Engineering and Economic
Perspective on national backbone and broadband networks.”
3. Eng. James Kilaba, Presentation on Tanzania’s experience on the
implementation of the national fibre optic backbone.
4. Ms. Elizabeth Migwala , Presentation title: Taking advantage of the digital
dividend in East Africa.
Highlights of the presentations are given in Section 3.0
2.0 HIGHLIGHT OF THE SPEECHES
2.1 SPEECH BY THE CHIEF GUEST, MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND
COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT), REPUBLIC OF RWANDA, HON. DR.
The Minister of ICT, Hon. Dr. Ignace Gatare, who was the Chief Guest, welcomed the
delegates to Kigali on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Rwanda.
The following are the highlights of the speech:-
This year’s Congress comes at a time when the whole of East Africa is in the
process of finalizing all preparations, after having achieved the outlining of
policies and some good ICT infrastructure, service delivery, postal reforms as
well as the migration from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting.
The service sector cannot bring about much admiration without broadband
connectivity and penetration throughout East Africa.
The migration strategies in terms of Governmental roles, the mandate of the
regulators in the whole process and the value chain that is being created for
digital broadcasting in East Africa must enable us all reap the benefits of digital
The region should take note that running parallel broadcasting systems
(analogue and digital) is very costly for both operators and the Governments. It
is encouraged that clear strategies should be established for the switching of
the analogue system without unnecessarily prolonging the simulcast period.
The dynamism of the ICT sector and the pace of globalization, which make
service development to be a complex issue, require the need to develop long-
term strategies, which the industry, consumers, regulators and policy makers
should share, and have a common vision of where East Africa is heading to.
The need to use EACO platform to share ideas, experiences for passing on
necessary skills and knowledge that will help EAC to keep pace with emerging
trends in telecom development.
As EAC countries complete their national backbones, they should find ways on
how to attain their maximum utilization and recoup the cost within shortest
possible period of time.
The willingness of the government of Rwanda to host the EACO Secretariat.
2.2 Speech by Mr. Patrick Mwesigwa, Acting Executive Director, Uganda
Communications Commission (UCC),
2.3 Speech by Mr. Jabbi Lamin, Director General of Rwanda Utilities
Regulatory Agency (RURA)
2.4 Speech by Mr. Reverien Ntagaye, Director General of
Telecommunications Control Regulatory Agency (ARCT)
2.5 Speech by the Director General, Tanzania Communications Regulatory
Authority (TCRA), Prof. John S. Nkoma
2.6 Speech by Mr. Charles Njoroge, Director General of Communications
Commission of Kenya (CCK)
2.7 Speech by Mrs. Rodah Masaviru, Representative Secretary General of the
Pan African Postal Union (PAPU)
3.0 Highlights of the presentations
3.1 Presentation by Prof. David Mellor, Chairman of United Kingdom
Telecommunications Academy (UKTA)
The importance of consumers to business owners
Provision of a consistent service irrespective of external forces eg. power
instability, cable cut, rain, lack of planning of cable routes etc.
Definition of quality as degree of excellence.
Maximum diversity to ensure continuous provision of quality of services
The submarine cables should be the responsibility of EAC and not
Liabilities that should be placed on ISPs in providing services
Consumer protection such they receive value for their money.
3.2 Presentation by Mr. Barry Kingsland
3.3 Presentation by Eng. James Kilaba