infoDev, the World Bank and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with ARICEA and COMESA launched a regional training event for Regulators and Policy Makers in Eastern and Southern Africa, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on 6-9 November, 2007.
The workshop is the first regional training event under the Global Capacity Building Initiative (GCBI). This is a joint ITU, infoDev and World Bank flagship initiative designed to create a client-oriented, comprehensive and sustainable capacity building framework that facilitates the development and transfer of knowledge to support regulatory reform and support Governments in leveraging the role of the ICT sector as a key driver for economic and social development. The Global Capacity Building Initiative will build on the highly successful ICT Regulation Toolkit, which infoDev and ITU launched in 2005 to improve access to training materials on key policy and regulatory issues in the ICT sector.
The rationale for regulation as well as regulatory approaches are typically influenced by the level of competition and maturity of markets. Many countries in the COMESA region have introduced competition on a gradual basis, initially adopting a “managed competition” approach to the ICT sector. COMESA countries have seen initial growth in their ICT markets as a result, but many now wish to develop more vibrant ICT markets in order to achieve the objectives of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), including connecting all the world’s villages to ICT by 2015.
In order to achieve policy objectives, regulators around the world increasingly recognize the importance of developing the necessary instruments and regulatory tools to deal with the complexities of competition issues and facilitate the development of effective competition in relevant markets. Regulators and policy makers also recognize that increasing competition in a market can change the nature of regulation and the role of regulators. The greater the level of competition, the more market forces can be relied on to achieve certain policy goals.
The telecommunications sector in COMESA member countries has undergone a radical transformation in recent years as a result of liberalization and the introduction of competition. Some segments of the market, notably mobile, continue to display healthy growth trends with significant investments in network infrastructure, increased geographical coverage and rapid rates of growth in subscribers. With continuous changes in market conditions, telecommunications regulators are constantly faced with challenges of ensuring the appropriate mix of ex-post competition law (where available) and ex-ante telecommunications-specific regulation.
In this regard, COMESA has been very active on ICT policy and regulatory reform for its member countries through a number of programs, including the Regional ICT Support Program (RICTSP), to contribute to the Eastern and Southern Africa region’s integration agenda through an effective and efficient ICT environment, and the establishment of the Association of Regulators for Information and Communications in Eastern and Southern Africa (ARICEA) as a consultative and collaborative forum for ICT regulators in Eastern and Southern Africa to exchange ideas, views and experiences among members on facilitating and regulating the development and application of ICTs.
The overall objective of this training is to discuss the changing role of regulators in the context of changing market condition's and improved competition in the sector. The training will focus on the regulatory tools to deal with the complexities of competition issues and facilitate the development of significant competition in the market.
The training workshop expected results are:
- Improved understanding of the link between market maturity and regulatory intervention
- Improved understanding of the mix between ex-ante regulation and ex-post regulation as markets develop
- Improved understanding of the relationship between competition policy and regulatory reform
- Improved understanding of dominant operator regulation on key regulatory issues (interconnection, price regulation and licensing)
- A better understanding of the role of regulators to create the right environment for improved competition in the sector
Mr. Pradip Baijal
Photo: Pradip Baijal
Pradip Baijal joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1966. In a distinguished career spanning four decades, he held a diverse set of portfolios in both the central and state governments. As Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), from 2003 to 2006 he changed cost plus regulation to competition regulation in India leading to an unparalleled growth in the sector. Prior to this, as Secretary of the then newly appointed Ministry of Disinvestment, he was instrumental in not only conducting several landmark transactions but also laying down the entire gamut of rules and regulations for privatization and standardizing privatization procedures.
At both the TRAI and the Ministry of Disinvestment Mr. Baijal often had to deal with strong opposition to the Government's initiatives from both the political establishment and the business community. This obviously resulted in its share of controversy. Undaunted, Mr. Baijal pushed ahead and finally achieved more than most had expected.
Mr. Baijal is a Mechanical Engineer from I.I.T. Roorkee, and was a visiting fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University from 1987 to 1988. He is a prolific writer and commentator on subjects close to his heart - telecom and privatization. His papers and articles have been published in several noted journals and newspapers.
Photo: Tracy Cohen
Dr. Tracy Cohen was appointed to the ICASA Council in July 2004. She previously held various academic and research posts including at the LINK Centre, P&DM, Wits University; Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) in New York, the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has also worked as a regulatory consultant for domestic and international organizations, including the International Telecommunication Union and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization. Dr. Cohen is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Wits Law School and the LINK Centre and sits on the editorial board for the South African Journal of Information and Communication. She obtained her Doctorate in Law from the University of Toronto.
Mr. Chris Doyle
Photo: Chris Doyle
Chris Doyle is an independent economic consultant specializing in communications and network industries. He has been providing independent economic consulting since 1990 to a broad range of private and public sector clients and is currently advising several national regulatory authorities on a r
ange of issues including: market liberalization, licensing, interconnection, spectrum management policy and competition policy. He has also provided advice to SMS aggregators, logistics companies, ecommerce operators, gaming companies, broadcasting companies, numerous telecommunications operators, among others. He has a Ph.D. in economics (industrial organization and game theory) from the University of Warwick and has held senior positions at Cambridge University, London Business School and Warwick Business School. He has also been a Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and held positions at Charles University, Prague, INSEAD and Queen’s University, Canada. His written work has been published widely and he has presented seminars and lectures at numerous universities and major industry conferences. He is a joint author of the recent book essentials of modern spectrum management published by Cambridge University Press, 2007. He is an associate of the Centre for Management under Regulation, Warwick Business School, and of the Department of Economics, University of Warwick where he presents a course on competition economics. Further information can be obtained at: www.cdoyle.com
Ms. Janet Hernandez
Photo: Janet Hernandez
Ms. Hernandez, Senior Vice President of Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG) advises domestic and international governments and private sector clients on telecommunications regulatory matters, particularly regulatory reform. An attorney, Ms. Hernandez, has over 15 years of experience in telecommunications matters. Prior to working at TMG, Ms. Hernandez worked in the Chief Counsel’s Office of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ms. Hernandez has a wealth of experience in the telecommunications sector, including acting as Project Manager for the TMG team on World Bank’s infoDev and International Telecommunication Union’s toolkit on the legal and institutional aspects of telecommunications regulation. She has also advised governments in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Malta, Panama, Slovenia, and Uganda on regulatory reform issues.
Mr. Heinrich OTRUBA
Photo: H. Otruba
Mr. Otruba’s research and teaching interests have concentrated on applied and quantitative economics. Most of his publications deal with applications of quantitative methods, in particular econometrics on economic questions. One his field of research has been network industries, concentrating on telecommunications and transportation. Mr. Otruba had the honour to assist the Austrian federal Ministry for Transportation, which has the competencies for telecommunications with first steps towards telecom liberalization in the early 1990ies. This occupation with the theoretical and practical problems of telecommunications liberalization finally resulted in the task to build and direct the National Regulatory Auth
ority for Telecommunication markets. During his term as president of this institution all major decision for the liberalization of the Austrian telecommunications markets were taken by the Authority. This included interconnection, carrier selection and carrier pre-selection, fixed and mobile number portability, access to the local loop, tariff control, unbundling of the local loop and many more.
Mr. Otruba has also served as an Advisor of the Director General for the Information Society of the European Commission and he is currently a full-time quantitative economics professor and Director of the Research Institute for Regulatory Economics at University of Vienna.
Photo: Addis Ababa, 6-9 November 2007
Photo: Addis Ababa, 6-9 November 2007
Photo: Prof. Pradip Baijal. Addis Ababa, 6-9 November 2007
Photo: Addis Ababa, 6-9 November 2007