From September 11 to 15, 2017, the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) organized a preparatory Meeting at the Pullman Hotel in Dakar, ahead of the World Telecommunications Summit.
The African Union of Broadcasting was represented at that important meeting by its Director General, Mr. Grégoire Ndjaka, accompanied by Ms. Audrey Kamsu, Head of Relations with the Member Organizations as well as two AUB experts, Mr Ousseyni Dieng and Mamadou Baal.
"Transition to Digital Africa: Opportunities and Challenges", was the theme of Mr. Mamadou Baal’s presentation. According to the AUB’s expert, "African governments have significant responsibilities for the public audiovisual sector, including the safeguarding of essential public interests in the new digital environment, including access to information and cultural diversity, promoting the social values of African societies, and the particular role of the broadcasting service as a unifying element entity, capable of offering a wide range of programs and services to all segments of the population at low cost ".
Spectrum management in Africa
Regarding spectrum in Africa, AUB’s expert revealed that "for decades, the VHF and UHF bands have been attributed to the broadcast of analogue television". He however, added that digital broadcasting (DTT) uses the spectrum more efficiently than in analogue mode, which frees up frequencies (Digital Dividend) for other uses. While recognizing that the use of the digital dividend is still on debate, he stated that certain portions of UHF spectrum have perceived qualities as particularly suitable for mobile services.
Founded in 1977 as a specialized agency of the African Union, ATU has been working for several years with the African Broadcasting Union on questions linked to broadcasting in Africa through advocacy.