Members of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) attending the World Radio Communication (WRC) Conference in Victoria Falls have been urged to harness information communication technologies in ensuring that the continent fully participate in global digital economy.

The ATU preparatory meetings being hosted by Zimbabwe will see delegates deliberating on key issues to be tabled during the forthcoming WRC Conference scheduled for 2019 and to come up with a common position.

Officiating during the opening ceremony of preparatory meetings which runs from the 4th to the 7th of June, ICT and Cyber Security Permanent Secretary Engineer Sam Kundishora reminded members of ATU of the urgent need to leverage ICTs in order for the region to fully participate in the global digital economy.

“It is now a well-established fact that leveraging ICTs enables nations and regions to achieve sustainable development in all sectors of the economy. As we prepare for WRC-19 let us keep in mind that it is through wireless technologies that Africa, among other emerging regions managed to leapfrog development towards universalising broadband access,” he said.

Among some of the issues set for deliberation during the ongoing meetings include the liberalisation of the radio airwaves and provision of additional frequencies to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) Director General, Dr Gift Machengete challenged the delegates to embrace the spirit of togetherness towards the realisation of a fully digital Africa.

“It is a delicate balancing act which we must pay attention to in order to ensure optimal outcomes for our region. It is incumbent for you our spectrum experts to ensure that the continent’s aspirations for an inclusive digital future are secured,” said Dr Machengete.

The WRC Conference will be held on the African soil for the first time in 2019 in Egypt.

The WRC is mandated to among other things review radio regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio frequency spectrum and geostationary satellites.