Uganda Re-elected to Governing Council of Telecommunications Union

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After months of intense lobbying, by a delegation led by Minister for ICT, Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda’s Eng Simon Bugaba has been elected to sit on the Radio Regulations Board of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

He was elected Monday during the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference by member States meeting in Dubai.

The electoral exercise also saw members elected to serve on the ITU Council.

The Council, which comprises 48 Member States, serves as the governing body of ITU in between the quadrennial Plenipotentiary Conferences, and meets every year at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva.

The Radio Regulations Board (RRB) is a part-time body of 12 members representing ITU’s five regions.

It is the RRB’s job to approve the Rules of Procedure in application of the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the use of satellite orbits.

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The RRB also serves as an appeal board in case of disputes and provides advice to World Radiocommunication Conferences and Radiocommunication Assemblies.

Uganda was elected under Region D which comprises of 13 African seats. Others that got a seat were Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

Each of the five ITU administrative regions is entitled to a number of Council seats.

Other Regions are The Americas (with 9 seats), Western Europe (8 seats), Eastern Europe and Northern Asia (5 seats), and Asia and Australasia (13 seats).

In 2016, Uganda became a member of governing council of International PostUnion. In October last year, Patrick Masambu was elected the Director General of International Telecoms Satellites Organization (ITSO).

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Bugaba has held a number of positions at the ITU for the last twenty years. He served as Uganda’s Councillor to ITU in the last council cycle of 2014 – 2018, Vice Chairperson of ITU-T SG 13- Future Networks and Cloud; and Chairman of the ITU-T SG 13 RG Africa.

President Yoweri Museveni congratulated the Ugandan team upon election to the ITU governing council.

Minister Tumwebaze who is in Dubai took to Twitter to describe Eng Bugaba’s election as “elating”.

“Very elated by the election of Uganda to Council of ITU. Out of 177 votes, Uganda got 114 votes to be elected to governing council. I thank the member countries of ITU for their support. Together, we shall continue to work for a connected world,” the Minister tweeted on Monday.

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He also hailed the delegation from Uganda who championed the lobbying for Uganda, as well as the member states that supported Uganda’s bid.

The newly elected ITU Council will serve from 2019 to 2023.

The Council ensures constant oversight of the Union’s activities, policies and strategies, manages Working Groups on specific topics set up by Plenipotentiary Conferences or by the Council itself, and prepares the ITU Strategic and Financial Plans for presentation to the Plenipotentiary.

The countries which have served the most terms on Council since 1947 (when ITU Council was formally created by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Atlantic City) are: Brazil, China, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States.

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