The African continent, by its very size, demands an efficient communication network. It is that?
The African continent, by its very size, demands an efficient communication network. It is that need which has prompted this week's meeting of one hundred and fifty delegates in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast to talk about the development of telecommunications in Africa.
SYNOPSIS: The Union Internationale des Telecommunications organised the conference, the fifth meeting of the Telecommunications Plan Committee for Africa. Secretary-General of the U.I.T., Monsieur Mili, opened the meeting. Its venue in Abidjan is significant as the Ivory Coast is regarded as one of the forerunners in establishing communications networks in Africa.
The Secretary-General told the meeting that the Ivory Coast was one of the first countries in Africa to establish a satellite ground station. This level of high-technology has now been introduced in Kenya, Senegal, the Gambia, Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria and other countries.
Telecommunications in Africa have developed tremendously in the past ten years, with many countries now having sophisticated international telephone and telex exchanges. This represents a large proportion of the planned African communications network. But the establishment of such a network requires close co-operation between the countries. The broad cultural and political differences within Africa makes the job of these delegates a challenging one.
This meeting came soon after a United Nations General Assembly statement on the next decade's development of transport and communications in Africa. For the next ten years the programme initiated in Abidjan will guide that development.