Cape Verde hosts ECOWAS Ministers of Telecommunications meeting
Published on: 15th Oct 2008
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APA Lagos (Nigeria) The Ministers in charge of Telecommunications and ICT in ECOWAS Member States are to meet on Thursday in Praia, the Cape Verdean capital, to consider the report of a preceding meeting of experts on regional guidelines on curbing cyber crime.
Apart from seeking to modernize the instruments for curbing cyber crime, the report sought to promote e-commerce and preserving personal data by ensuring both national and regional legislations.
According to a statement from the ECOWA Commission on Wednesday in Abuja, the ministers will seek to define the way forward for the implementation of the Supplementary Acts adopted by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on 19th January 2007 in Ouagadougou.
It said that the Acts, which address ICT policy and legislation, access and interconnection regulation, legal regime, numbering, frequency and universal access, provide guidelines for an environment which permits gradual transition to open markets, promotes universal access, is free of entry barriers for newcomers and respects investment costs of existing players.
Furthermore, the statement said while recognizing telecommunications services as a public good, the Acts defines some roles for regulators and Member States to play in encouraging better access to services.
The statement said that the ministers would also consider issues relating to the Global Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) and how ECOWAS Member States can contribute meaningfully to it.
"They will be expected to make specific recommendations that will go beyond the political to concrete actions by Member States to enable the Fund deliver on its mandate," it said.
The Fund constitutes a new financial mechanism to fight against the digital divide between ECOWAS and the rest of the world and aims to ensure affordable and fair access to the information technologies and their contents for everyone, especially for marginalized groups.
It also seeks to promote such access as a basic right in both the public and private domains, irrespective of market fluctuations, growth and profitability, with respect for an information society which is sustainable socially, culturally, economically, financially and ecologically.