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04.07.2005 General News

Workshop to build capacity on regulatory practices


Accra, July 4, GNA - A five-day European Union (EU)-sponsored telecommunication workshop to build capacity for efficient regulatory practices in the West African Sub-Region began on Monday in Accra. It forms part of an annual training programme organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) mainly to help West African countries to have well trained human resources in regulatory activities towards the process of a regional harmonisation.

Speaking at the opening, Mrs Estelle Blafond, Representative of ITU, said the workshop, which consisted of 20 training activities in English and French, had its first session last month in Conakry, Guinea. She said each sub-regional country was expected to avail itself to the project to share her experience and needs in order to show the existence of the African expertise in regulations.

Madam Sofie Maddens Toscano, Senior Policy and Regulatory Adviser, said achieving efficient regulatory practice was not a an easy task due to the existence of competitive markets and emerging ICT technologies. She said the workshop would examine key regulatory functions, draw lessons from successful studies in other countries as well as consider issues of international best practices in the telecommunication sector. Mr Bernard A. Forson, Deputy Director-General, National Communication Authority (NCA), said with the current national telecommunication policy in place it was hoped that there would be efficient regulation in the system.

He said irrespective of the service an operator was rendering to consumers, the NCA was poised to regulate to ensure universal access and fairness.

Mr Forson said the new policy was focussed on consumers and also to create the right environment for fairness and open up the market for competition.