ICTA hosts CRASA Forum to help fast track and harmonize migration from analogue to digital broadcasting in southern Africa

Technology & Convergence

The harmonization process of digital broadcasting migration for the SADC region has begun. In view of this the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) will be hosting the Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum convened by the Communications Regulators of Southern Africa (CRASA). The Forum will be held from 17th to 19th August 2009 at the Four Points by Sheraton Cybercity, Ebène.

The need for such a Forum has been felt by members of CRASA of which the ICTA is a member following the approval of the SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Action Plan by SADC Ministers responsible for Telecommunications, Postal and ICT in a meeting held in Namibia on 26th June of this year.

Some sixty delegates will be in Mauritius for the Forum. Along with their Mauritian counterparts, they will be called upon to focus on the Implementation Plan for Digital Broadcasting Migration for the region. Amongst the delegates will be CRASA’s Executive Secretary, Mr Isodoro da Silva and the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Affairs Committee, Councillor Robert Nkuna.

CRASA brings together the ICT and Communications regulators of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A number of issues relating to how the region can harmonize its migration from analogue to digital broadcasting and share best practices as well as forewarn of the pitfalls will be up for discussion.

For CRASA members the strategic issues include the aligning of policy and legislation to facilitate digital broadcasting migration; future re-use of premium spectrum that will be freed from the current allocations for analogue broadcasting services as well as the need to address empowering consumers in the switchover process.

During the meeting in Namibia it was noted that the contribution of policy makers and other stakeholders would be pertinent during the debates on the harmonized migration to digital broadcasting in the region. In this regard, the Ministers directed that such meetings should be attended by all stakeholders in the region if SADC is to fast track the migration process.

As such this important Forum will also see the participation of Chairpersons and CEOs as well as senior representatives from: ICT and broadcasting regulators, high level officials from government departments, broadcasting organisations and associations, telecommunication operators (telcos) and consumer organisations.

The Honourable Mohammed Asraf Ally Dulull, Minister of Information and Communication Technology will officially open the Forum at 9.30am on Monday 17th August.