Somalia signs deal with ITU to develop telecom

MOGADISHU, Oct. 16 — The Somali government has signed a
cooperation agreement with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to
help the Horn of Africa nation develop its telecommunication sector.

The Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Technology which inked the
agreement said on Saturday that as part of the agreement, the ITU will
assist Somalia in a number of areas that are memorialized in the agreement.
“These include the development of national ICT policies and infrastructure,
capacity building in the field of ICTs, assistance in establishing an ICT
regulator, an ICT training institute, and enhancement of ICT access and
usage in the education, health care or other sectors, with due regard to
disadvantaged or vulnerable groups within society,” it said.

According to the ministry, the purpose of the agreement is to provide a
mechanism for the ITU to assist Somalia under ITU Resolutions, which
directs the ITU and the secretary general to extend support to Somalia, as
the country is a beneficiary as one of the least developed countries. The
deal comes after Somalia’s parliament on Aug. 8 unanimously approved the
National Communications Act to regulate the country’s telecommunication
sector. The telecommunications bill calls for the creation of telecoms
regulatory authority, development of the country with telecommunications
technology, protecting corporate and consumer rights and more participation
by private sectors in developing the sector. Drafting of this bill started
as early as 2004 and has been sitting in front of 7th, 8th and 9th federal
parliaments. However, due to non-stop efforts and change of strategy by the
ministry leadership, who have been working on it day and night, the bill
was now the first to be approved by the 10th Parliament. – XINHUA