Kenya Launches Bids For Re-election to Key Global ICT Positions

CA DG Ezra Chiloba

Kenya has launched its bid for re-election to two key positions in international ICT organizations.

The country is eyeing another term at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Council, which is a key decision-making organ of the UN specialized agency for ICTs. 

At the same time, the country is drumming up support for the re-election of Mr. John Omo, a Kenyan, for a second term as the Secretary-General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), the African Union (AU) specialized agency for ICTs.

Kenya this past week hosted member states to the ITU Council in Geneva, Switzerland, where it put a strong case for another four-year mandate at the Council and the ATU.

Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva Amb. Dr. Cleopa Mailu led Kenya’s charm offensive targeting heads of delegations to the 48 member Council.

Amb. Mailu said since joining the ITU 40 years ago, Kenya has been on the frontline, shaping global conversations on ICTs, and greatly contributing to the work of the ITU.

This, he said, had resulted in tremendous achievements Kenya has recorded in the development of ICTs.

He added that over the years, Kenya had built a strong reputation in the region and globally, standing out as a leader in driving digital access and inclusivity, evidenced in ground-breaking innovations and efforts to enhance access to communications services for all.

‘‘We, therefore, seek to continue with our focus and partnering with the Union, like-minded member states, and other partners to implement digital access initiatives that will promote accessibility, availability, and affordability of ICTs by all,’’ added Amb. Mailu.

The envoy observed that based on the country’s track record in ICT development and involvement in the activities of the ITU in various leadership capacities, Kenya seeks to continue being a reliable partner in the quest of leveraging ICTs for the betterment of humanity, and the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘‘If re-elected, Kenya promises to be your reliable partner in the progressive task of ensuring that ICTs remain a key player of the global economy, and, specifically, a key enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’’ announced the envoy.

CA Director General Mr. Ezra Chiloba who spoke at the ITU Council said Kenya had derived much value from membership to the ITU, evident from the unprecedented progress realized in the field of ICTs.

‘‘The ITU has served as the springboard on which many countries, Kenya included, have realized tremendous strides, in enhancing inclusive access to diverse communications services. ITU’s support has indeed been instrumental in contributing to the attainment of our digital transformation agenda,’’ he added.

On the ATU Secretary General’s seat, Amb. Mailu said Mr. Omo has a track record for championing the strategic rollout of ICT programmes and projects that resonate without the continent’s unique experiences. 

‘‘We are confident that with another mandate, Mr. Omo will lead the Union to even greater levels of prosperity so that member states can derive more value, and fully leverage the power of  ICTs for socio-economic development,’’ said Amb. Mailu.

Mr. Omo has overseen the aggressive rebranding of the Union, enhancing its visibility, and ensuring the institution commands the desired respect among its peers.

Under his watch, ATU has expanded both its membership as well as its financial base and has fostered favourable working arrangements with other ICT actors.

Elections for ITU Council are set to take place during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, scheduled to take place from 26th September to 14th October 2022, in Bucharest, Romania. On the other hand, elections for the ATU Secretary-General are set for July this year in Algeria.