24 April 2015
By Oiva Angula
WINDHOEK - Namibia took over today the chairmanship of the Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA), thus replacing the Republic of Angola, who led the organisation for 12 months.
The change of guard took place during SATA’s 35th annual conference which started here on Wednesday.
The three-day-conference is an annual event with the main objective to prepare and approve the projects, programmes and budget for the new SATA financial year.
In his report as outgoing SATA chairman, Angola Telecom CEO João Adolfo Martins said that a number of key projects were successfully implemented during his tenure in office. These included the SADC Region Information Infrastructure Project Phase 2; SATA Backhaul Broadband Transmission Links Project and Human Capital Development Project.
Following the completion of SADC Region Information Infrastructure Phase-1 (SRII Phase-1) project, SATA embarked into the implementation of SRII Project Phase-2 which deals with the implementation of the intelligent portion of the project comprising of switches, IP platforms, management, Internet Exchange Points and billing systems in the All-IP environment. This project, he said, is on-going.
As for the Backhaul Transmission Links whose objective was to connect land-linked countries in the region to the western and eastern submarine optical fibre cables, Martins said that all of its missing links in this project were implemented and members have being doing upgrades to the infrastructure.
Angola Telecom CEO said that the project on human capital development is being implemented through the certified centres of excellence in the region and also through the SATA Human Capital Development Workshop which is held annually to share experiences and benchmark good practices.
He said that the certified centres of excellence are Tel.One Centre for Learning (TCFL) in Zimbabwe, Instituto de Formação das Telecomunicações (IFT) in Mozambique and the Telkom SA Centre for Learning.
In his speech as new SATA chairman, the acting Managing Director of Telecom Namibia, Theo Klein said that he is committed to guide the association in the implementation of the various initiatives and projects with the assistance of member organisations.
“I wish to pledge Telecom Namibia’s commitment to SATA as the implementation of the resolutions to be adopted by the CEOs this morning requires commitment and hard work from all of us, and therefore a tall order,” Klein said.
“I am comforted that through your dedication and commitment as members of SATA and through the excellent work being done by the Executive Secretary and the entire Secretariat, we will be able to make SATA grow to meet the challenges of the ever-changing telecommunications landscape,” he added.
He said SATA has already demonstrated its proactiveness and responsiveness to modern era telecommunications challenges and to addressing the needs and aspiration of member organisations.
The new chairman expressed gratitude to the outgoing SATA chairman, João Adolfo Martins, CEO of Angola Telecom, for the “able leadership that guided SATA during the previous year” with wisdom and openness to new ideas and challenges.
The 3-day conference, which was held under the theme: “ICT for the Benefit of All: Transforming our Society through Broadband and ICT Development”, ends today.
Participants are from host Namibia and other SADC member States including Angola, Zambia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.