NatCA’s DG to Chair West Africa Telecoms Conference

The National Telecommunications Authority (NaTCA) will host the West Africa Telecommunications Regulatory Assembly or WATRA from March 19 to 22, 2024.

During the regional body’s meeting, the Director General of NaTCA Mr. Amara Pedou Brewah will take over as Chairman of WATRA until the next meeting in 2025.

Minister of Communications, Technology and Innovation, Md. Salima Bah, will deliver the keynote address at the event and she is expected to show case Sierra Leone’s remarkable improvement in the telecommunications sector over the last five years of President Bio.

WATRA was established in November 2004 and is responsible for working with the telecommunications regulators of all 16 member States of ECOWAS to promote the adoption of regulations that stimulate economic growth through telecoms, deliver more affordable telecoms services to a greater number of West Africans, facilitate swift economic transactions using telecoms and improve wider and easier access to public services.

Last year, at a digital conference in Abuja, Nigeria held on the 31st January and 1st February Positioning West Africa’s Digital Economy for the Future was placed at the center of the two days deliberations and this year’s WATRA conference in Freetown will deepen that. WATRA seeks also to ensure West African countries collaborate and become proactive in leveraging the digital economy’s advantages and emerge as key players in the global digital world. It seeks to build synergy and collaboration within the West African region for greater impact across Africa and the world generally.

During the conference it is expected that WATRA would deliberate on the need for increased broadband penetration and facilitate digital education too. There’s a need for the West African sub-region to leverage its vast population with a view to positioning and boosting the West African digital economy. The need for West African countries to explore their strength and weaknesses to force efficient and productive collaboration for a sustainable digital economy would be discussed.

Digital Public Infrastructure which is the responsibility of everybody to build and not just Governments would be deliberated on. The positive strides by each participating country would be touched with a view to share knowledge and learn from varying experiences. The various challenges faced by each country towards the attainment of digital economy could also form a part of the conference.

The desire to close the skills gap in telecommunications and the digital economy of West African countries is an imperative that WATRA would deep dive during the conference. The upscaling of telecommunications and digital skills among West African citizens would be crucial to the conference.


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