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World Telecommunication Development Conference

 

World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) 2014 – AFRINIC’s way forward in capacity building

 

ITU's sixth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) in the United Arab Emirates came to a close last week in Dubai. WTDC-14’s theme was “Broadband for Sustainable Development".

 

The objective of WTDC-14 is to establish work programmes and guidelines for defining telecommunication development questions and priorities, and to provide direction and guidance for the work programme of the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) over the coming four-year period.

 

AFRINIC participated in the discussions both regionally and at the WTDC-14 as we believe that the final 45 resolutions approved in the Dubai Action Plan will likely have an IP flavour in the end as they touch upon Over The Top (OTT) mobile services, machine-to-machine networks or e-education and health.

 

Of direct concern to the AFRINIC community, Resolution 63 on “IP address allocation and facilitating the transition to IPv6 in the developing countries” shows the need for continued IPv6 information sharing, training and capacity building. The resolution invites Member States to engage with relevant parties, such as the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), for technical guidance and information based on shared experiences.

 

To help strengthen the above goal, the five RIRs – AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and the RIPE NCC - hosted a lunch event during the first week of the conference, inviting Member State representatives to speak with RIR staff about their various development and capacity building efforts. The discussion touched on cooperative public-private sector initiatives, community-building activities (such as support for network operator groups) and award programmes like the Fund for Internet Research and Education (FIRE), Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) and the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF). ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré also joined the lunch and spoke for several minutes on the complementary work done by the ITU and the RIRs.

 

Study Group 1 of ITU-D ("Enabling environment, cybersecurity, ICT applications and Internet-related issues") will also see a new study question (COM3/DD) that looks at the policy, regulatory and technical aspects of IPv6 adoption. AFRINIC will work with its regional community and with SG1 to help shape existing or future regulatory frameworks.

 

The Dubai meeting helped AFRINIC to get a lot more visibility among the newest Member States of the region, including South Sudan, whose minister was very interested to hear about the areas in which AFRINIC can help her young country take off in terms of networking and capacity building AFRINIC has a stellar IPv6 training programme that is geared towards both technical and Decision Makers/C-level executives (learn.afrinic.net).

 

Other exchanges with Member States, the ITU and the ATU as well as industry (GSM Association, SAMENA Telecommunications Council, Intelsat etc.) reinforced the need for AFRINIC, in our capacity as the RIR for the African region, to be part of the implementation of regional initiatives that our community took to WTDC-14 and that were embedded in the final ITU-D objectives for the 2014-2018 cycle.

 

The WTDC14 final objectives are:

  1. Foster international cooperation on telecommunication/ICT development issues.
  2. Foster an enabling environment conducive to ICT development and foster the deployment of telecommunication/ICT networks.
  3. Enhance confidence and security in the roll-out and the safe use of telecommunications/ICTs.
  4. Build human and institutional capacity, promote digital inclusion and provide concentrated assistance to countries in special need.
  5. Enhance climate change responses and disaster management efforts through telecommunication/ICTs.

 

AFRINIC’s next step will be working with our industry partners as well as the public sector on series of technical and less technical trainings as requested by most of the delegations we met at WTDC 14.

 

AFRINIC will participle in the last preparatory meeting of the ITUPP14, which is taking place in conjunction with ATU’s Plenipotentiary meeting next July in Harare. As a sector member of the ITU-D attending the ITU Plenipotentiary 2014 conference to be held in Busan, South Korea, later this year, AFRINIC is interested in the updating of resolutions that touch the Internet and have been discussed at ITU events for some time now:http://www.itu.int/osg/csd/intgov/

  • Resolutions 101, 102, 130, 133 and 140 (Rev. Guadalajara 2010)
  • Resolutions 174, 178, 179, 180 and 181 (Guadalajara 2010)
  • ITU Council Resolution 1282 (Mod. 2008), Resolution 1305 (2009), Resolution 1336 (2011), Resolution 1344 (2012)
  • WTSA Resolutions 47, 48, 50, 52, 59, 64, 69, 75 (Rev. Dubai, 2012)
  • WTDC Programme 2, Resolutions 20, 30, 45 and 63 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010)

 

The upcoming Africa Internet Summit (AIS) 2014 that takes place in Djibouti from 25 May – 6 June will enable AFRINIC to discuss more of our involvement in the above events/discussions with the African community during the Internet governance sessions.