The opening session of the first ever Africa – Asia Regulatory Conference was held at the Hotel Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo, on the morning of the 14th February 2012. Organised jointly by the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), the Conference’s opening session was attended by a range of distinguished invitees headed by the Chief Guest, Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Sri Lanka’s Senior Minister for International Monitory Co-operation, Dr. Eun-Ju Kim, Regional Director, International Telecommunications Union, Professor Tim Unwin, Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) and about fifty foreign delegates from twenty one African and Asian nations.
Dr. Sarath Amunugama, M.P., Senior Minister of International Monetary Co-operation as the Chief Guest delivered the Keynote Address on the topic " The Limited Role of Regulatory Agencies ". Mr. Anusha Palpita, Director - General, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka & Chairman, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization delivered the welcome address. He was followed by a special address delivered by Dr. Eun-Ju Kim, Regional Director, International Telecommunications Union on the topic “Paradigm shift in regulatory landscape of ICTs”. Professor Tim Unwin, CEO of the CTO then delivered an Address on the topic “Regulator’s role in ensuring inclusive ICTs”.
The main purpose of this two day Conference is to facilitate and promote interaction and relationship among CTO members in Asia and Africa. During the conference much of the discussions will be on critical emerging regulatory issues, such as the Spectrum Management, Next Generation Networks (NGN), Mobile Broadband, Cyber Security and IPv6. These issues provide challenges as well as new opportunities to regulators and the operators.
African and Asian nations have several similarities in their socio – economic development as well as contemporary political history. Sri Lanka is very keen to build and strengthen relations with African countries. These similarities are seen as an advantage that would help to reach consensual outcomes on adoption of common approaches to meet the regulatory challenges. The ultimate goal is the harnessing of the potential of these new developments in technologies for the benefit of the people in both Africa and Asia.