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Ministers review regional integration

Ministers review regional integration

A MULTI sectoral meeting on matters relating to communication and the utilisation of Information and Communication Technology to aid the further development the Southern African Region was held in Windhoek and resolutions arrived at will soon be implemented.

In this regard, ministers or their representatives from Angola, Botswana, Comoros, DRC, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended the summit.

The meeting was also attended by a representative from the COMESA Secretariat and representatives from SADC partners and the SADC Secretariat Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration.

The ministers received reports on the implementation of decisions taken during the last sectoral ministerial meetings, provided guidance and approved several decisions to facilitate infrastructure in support of regional integration and enhanced awareness and promotion of SADC Programmes.

In the ICT and Information Sectors, the ministers approved the: SADC Broadband Targets for the region which include broadband goals to ensure that the region reach 50% household penetration of broadband, 60% of youth and adults with a minimum level of proficiency in sustainable digital skills, and that entry level broadband costing less than 2% of the monthly GNI per capita and urged Member States to ensure that their National Broadband Plan or Strategy are aligned to the targets.

They reviewed SADC Rural Broadband Guidelines and Recommendations to ensure that all SADC Citizens in the rural areas have affordable access and benefit from broadband services.

They considered recommendations on Cyber Security and SADC Regional Cyber Drill and the SADC Cyber Security Action Plan, which complement the SADC harmonised Cyber Security Model laws, and includes capacity building, cyber drill, international cooperation and cyber security institutional mechanism such as the Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs).

They discussed harmonisation of Emergency Services Numbering in SADC for police, fire and ambulance in line with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and international best practices to ensure that there is a rank in terms of priority and that a single Emergency Number ‘112’ is used for the police, fire and ambulance services in SADC.

The ministers received progress reports on the implementation of the SADC Postal Strategy and an assessment report on the SADC e-commerce readiness, and urged all Member States to participate in the Operational Readiness for the e-commerce project.

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