Lesotho marks world telecommunications event

Lesotho marks world telecommunications event
Lesotho marks world telecommunications event

Africa-Press – Lesotho. The international world joined in observing the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on the 17th May which has been celebrated annually since 1969, marking the founding of the International Telecommunication Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations on information and communication technologies (ICTs), and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865.

The purpose of the day is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) Public Affairs Manager Tšiu Tšiu said even though there are no special events planned to commemorate the day in the country, the theme of the day, ‘Big Data for Big Impact,’ will be celebrated in many events throughout the year.

He said Lesotho adopted the Lesotho Telecommunications Policy in 1999, which gave birth to Lesotho Communications Authority, as a regulator of the communications sector in Lesotho and that the policy further brought about the liberalization of communications market by introducing competition from private communications service providers.

He said before market liberalisation, operators in the communications sector market were dominated by state-owned entities such as Radio Lesotho, Lesotho Telecommunications Corporation and Lesotho Postal Services, but now Lesotho currently has two major mobile network operators Vodacom and Econet.

In addition, he said, around 25 radio stations and one television licensed operators; one public postal operator and eight private postal and courier operators, and a host of other communications service providers who contribute immensely to the country’s economy are in operations currently.

Giving his remarks on the day, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhao stated that, “Every year on 17th May, the ITU membership around the world, celebrate World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, to mark the founding of our Union over 150 years ago.

He said this year’s theme ‘Big Data for Big Impact’ will explore the power of big data for development and examine the opportunities to convert unprecedented quantities of data into information that can drive development.

He also pointed out that the insight brought about by this analysis of data would enable evidence-based decision-making at national, regional and international levels and help the implementation of all of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

He said countless opportunities would also be identified as the world learns to “better perfect and harness big data, and understand the impact big data can have as a global good, and that activities undertaken by the ITU membership will contribute towards building momentum to embrace big data on a global scale and to seize new opportunities to address development challenges”.

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