On 18th March 2016, the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation (CTO), the oldest and largest commonwealth organisation dealing with ICT, approved a new strategic plan for the period 2016-2020.
The strategic plan seeks to transform the CTO to better enable it to respond to the needs of its member states with regard to ICT matters. The key issues to be tackled in the next four-year period include:
- The development of modern regulatory environments;
- Affordable, universal and high-quality broadband connectivity;
- A culture of cybersecurity; and
- The development and use of ICT applications for socio-economic development.
‘In addition to working on broadband, applications and cybersecurity, we will also assist our members to create forward-looking regulatory environments that will encourage investment, facilitate innovation and maximise resources.’
According to the strategic plan, the goal of promoting, encouraging and facilitating the regulatory environment applies, amongst other things, to ICT licences, digital switchover, spectrum management and over-the-top operators. At least one regulatory event will be organised by the CTO each year to reach this specific goal.
Besides organising events on relevant subject matter for the benefit of its members, the CTO aims to provide technical assistance and engage in global collaboration with partners from government, the private sector and other international organisations in attaining their objectives.
In an effort to meet the diverse needs of its 53 member states, the strategic plan certainly sets out an ambitious but workable goal. A strong focus on cyber capacity building efforts to improve basic regulative and technical shortcomings is certainly necessary for the CTO, considering that its membership embraces not only developed countries, but also Least Developed Countries, Small Island Developing States and Landlocked Developing Countries.
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