Messaggio 29 luglio 2023, 14:19

Milestone for Amateur Radio in Africa: The African Telecommu

Milestone for Amateur Radio in Africa: The African Telecommunication Union and the IARU-R1 sign a landmark agreement

Jul 28, 2023 - News - Sylvain, F4GKR

Approximately three million people worldwide benefit from amateur radio, a means of global communication utilizing radio waves. To expand its reach in Africa, the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) have signed a landmark agreement which will also allow for expanded use of amateur radio during emergency telecommunications operations.

The agreement seeks to leverage ATU’s membership of 51 African countries and IARU’s global membership of communities in 160 countries, including 36 in Africa — allowing IARU and ATU to combine valuable expertise and knowledge, empowering amateur radio operators in Africa through capacity building initiatives specified in the agreement.

Signing the agreement, the ATU Secretary General John OMO said, “One of the most remarkable aspects of amateur radio is its resilience during times of crisis. When disasters cripple conventional communication infrastructure, leaving communities cut off and isolated, amateur radio operators step up to bridge the communication gap. Therefore, we warmly embrace this agreement for the immense value it brings to our continent.”

Part of the agreement underscores the importance of emergency communications in Africa. Both IARU and ATU commit to supporting the development and deployment of emergency communication systems and infrastructure, and to cooperate in disaster preparedness and response activities.

The agreement further focuses on: the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Africa through the use of Amateur Radio applications; joint efforts to advocate for amateur radio policies across African countries; and, the sharing of best practices in policy development. Additionally, the agreement emphasizes capacity building by aligning on training programs and workshops.

Also speaking at the signing of the agreement, IARU’s Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia President, Sylvain Azarian, said, “We are excited to sign this agreement even as we acknowledge the significance of addressing regulatory challenges for amateur radio in Africa. This is our first step to initiating a collaborative approach that is keen to find solutions and to ensure a conducive environment for amateur radio operations in the region.”

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