News Column

Uganda Hands Over ITSO Satellite Chair

May 26, 2014

The Minister for Information and Communications Technology, John Nasasira, last week handed over the chairmanship of the Assembly of Parties of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (ITSO).

"Today, I'm very grateful to be able to turn over the reins of leadership to the incoming Chairman representing the Party of Canada, with ITSO in such a strong position to meet the challenges of the future," he said during the handover.

"Uganda has been an active member of ITSO and as a country, we have benefited greatly from such discourses, hence been able to develop our communications sector," he said.

Santaigo Borda of Canada took up the responsibility during a colourful function at the opening ceremony of the 36th ITSO Assembly of Parties in Washington, DC, on May 21, 2014.

Based in Washington D.C., ITSO is an intergovernmental organisation dealing with overseeing the public service obligations of Intelsat Limited, the satellite company.

Uganda has been at the helm of ITSO for two years since the country hosted the 35th ITSO Assembly of Parties in July 2012.

The meeting was timely and crucial as part of a medium-term strategy to propel Uganda to a position of higher responsibility in the organisation

The 150-member ITSO organisation works to ensure that Intelsat provides public telecommunications services, including voice, data and video on a global and non-discriminatory basis.

Satellite technology is a key complement in terms of the technologies for implementing broadband.

In the case of Uganda, and the 26 land-locked countries in Africa in general, satellite technology is not only a complementary technology but can also be the only means of providing access to international telecommunications should there be a failure of the link to the international submarine fibre-optic cable systems.

ITSO was started in 1971 through an inter-governmental agreement. It oversees the commercial use on an non-discriminatory basis, global public international telecommunications services using satellite technology.

The structure of ITSO comprises an Assembly of Parties, represented by the member governments and the Executive Organ, headed by the Director General. The Assembly of Parties gives consideration to general policy and long-term objectives of ITSO and consideration to matters which are primarily of interest to the Parties.

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Source: AllAfrica

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