Hon Shamu Officially Opens The Telone, SATA Conference


By Wilson T Mtetwa   from Victoria Falls

Tel•One in conjunction with the Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA) held the 3rd Southern Africa Regional Broadband, Next Generation Networks and New Technologies Workshop from Today  the 9th to the 11th of October 2013 at the Elephant Hills Hotel and Resorts, Victoria Falls.
The Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Honourable Minister Webster Shamu, the guest of honour officially opened function.
SATA is an organisation that facilitates regional co-operation among SADC Member states as envisaged in the SADC Treaty and the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology.

sata group photo 2
Organisations and Countries Involved in the SATA are
Tel•One Zimbabwe
Zamtel Zambia
BTC Botswana
Swazi Telecom (SPTC)
Econet Lesotho
TTCL Tanzania
Telkom South  Africa
Telecom Mauritius
Angola Telecom
MTL Malawi
The Democratic Republic of Congo

This was in recognition of:
• The need to adopt the info-communications convergence to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
• The need for a regional platform to face the new challenges and the opportunities in the changing telecommunications environment.
• The growing focus on and orientation towards customer satisfaction in the quality and variety of telecommunications services.
• The spreading global characteristics of competition and marketing of telecommunication services.
• The need of an orderly development of the regional telecommunications network towards universal access and service.

Telone boss Chipo Mtasa

Here is the Full Speeech By the Hon Minister Webster Shamu

I am privileged and honoured to have been invited to this important third SATA Next Generation Networks and Broadband Services Workshop to officially grace the workshop. I had no hesitation to accept your invitation not only because I am from the mother Ministry of ICTs but also because of the subject matter of this Workshop; “NGN and Broadband”. I wish you all a warm welcome on behalf of the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services of Zimbabwe. I believe this workshop on NGN and Broadband Services will give the window of sharing thoughts and views between operators, regulators and the industry regarding the future of Broadband in this vast Southern African Development (SADC) Region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
On 24th October 2011 in Geneva during the 40th ITU Telecom World anniversary, the ITU Broadband Commission, under the leadership of the ITU Secretary General, met and endorsed four measurable broadband targets covering policy, affordability and uptake. These targets are:
(a)    Making broadband policy universal: By 2015, all countries should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in their Universal Access/Service Definitions.
(b)    Making broadband affordable: By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces (for example, amount to less than 5% of average monthly income).
(c)    Connecting homes to broadband: By 2015, 40% of households in developing countries should have INTERNET access.
(d)    Getting people online: By 2015, INTERNET user penetration should reach 60% worldwide, 50% in developing countries and 15% in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Ladies and Gentlemen;
These are four targets but with a single milestone. We are asked by the ITU Broadband Commission to take note and implement the four broadband targets on making broadband policy universal, making broadband affordable, connecting homes and getting people online by 2015. Can we?

Hon Webster Shamu Hands over Award
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Developing countries cannot afford to miss out on the development, growth and trade opportunities offered by broadband infrastructure. Far beyond the tangible economic benefits realized through broadband infrastructure in jobs, trade and productivity, the information, knowledge and education services offered by the Internet via broadband are now public goods with truly global dimensions. Broadband is not just a nice to have, it is a need to have infrastructure for promoting economic growth, trade and productivity. In today’s challenging economic climate, broadband is more essential than ever for stimulating economic recovery and creating jobs. The deployment of broadband infrastructure therefore carries important public benefits for the global good, including accelerating progress towards achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the ITU Connect Africa Summit Goals.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Closing the digital divide means we need more affordable technology, which means we need to keep the costs of development and manufacturing as low as possible. Government has invested in the national Internet backbone through Tel●One which brings low cost and high speed Internet to the ordinary Zimbabwean and other telecommunication operators. Government has wavered duty on all ICT gadgets to make them affordable.
Government, through the Ministry of Information Communication Technology has played a pivotal role in building national awareness on the important role ICTs play in today’s constantly evolving world. As part of Governments commitment to the World  Summit on the Information Society, Zimbabwe was tasked “to connect villages with ICTs in established community access points”; “to connect secondary schools and primary schools with ICTs” and then “to connect scientific and research centres with ICTs” and “to connect public libraries, cultural centres, museums, post offices and archives with ICTs.”.  Moreover, Government is also establishing information centers in most rural and marginalized areas to promote growth of ICTs.

Ladies and Gentlemen;
Broadband improves the lives of people through the facilitation of distance education and advances the lives of women, promoting innovation and encouraging the acquisition of new skills. The Government of Zimbabwe recognises the important role that the private sector has played in various broadband initiatives. However, we still feel that there is need for a comprehensive strategy that defines the outcomes sought, has realistic and achievable objectives with medium term and long term priorities, and the recognition that these may need to change. We all understand that access to broadband services is a necessity for growth and the social and economic uplift of our people, especially our rural communities and those in remote areas of our countries. Therefore, it is important that we appreciate the need for prioritisation, taking into account the poor.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the name suggests, the issues of broadband are broad. However, our government is committed to making resources available to ensure that access to broadband services is universal. We look forward to a fruitful workshop and your robust participation in such.

Let’s work together for a solution that will improve the lives of all citizens of SADC so that when the next census is held, we can once again look forward to the results with pride.

With these remarks I declare the 3rd SATA Workshop on Next Generation Network and Broadband Services officially opened.

Thank you.

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