The Swedish communication technology company, Ericsson, has partnered with the Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) for the accelerated development of policies and regulations in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The NASDAQ listed Ericsson and CRASA signed the agreement in Windhoek this week.
For the next three years Ericsson and CRASA will organise and facilitate capacity building workshops geared towards the development of national broadband plans. These sessions would focus on specific concerns related to ICT in SADC countries in planning, developing or revising and amending their broadband policies. CRASA is a consultative body that was set up by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regulators to effectively develop harmonised policies and regulations for the ICT sector in the region.
“There has been a slow adoption of national broadband plans in the SADC region and we need to speed up the process so that countries lagging behind can also enjoy the benefits that come with technology evolution. Governments have a duty to create an enabling environment for the creation and adoption of broadband across all sectors and we are happy to be partnering with Ericsson on this journey,” said Antony Chigaazira, Executive Secretary of CRASA. The adoption of national broadband plan policies would increase the rollout of broadband infrastructure in SADC, which will have a major impact on the economy.
The deployment of network facilities will also lead to increased innovation, new ways of doing business, improve education levels through e-learning and enhance health welfare through e-health, ultimately improving the quality of life. Ericsson will be playing a support role to member states and share global best practices that can be implemented in the region. Ericsson will also advise member states on global technology developments, policy and regulatory approaches. The focus will be on how governments can most effectively harness ICT to manage domestic imperatives, improve governance and reposition national economies and industries for competitiveness in the global economy.
“An increasing number of countries are formulating national broadband policies or policies aimed at promoting broadband.
These plans and policies are important in helping governments to set visions and strategies of how the development of technology can move their countries forward. The partnership with CRASA will allow us share global best practices and help SADC realize the economic benefits of universal broadband,” said Shiletsi Makhofane, Vice-President and Head of Government and Industry Relations for Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa.