World Radio Communication Conference
The World Radio Communication (WRC) Conference kicked off on Monday, 26 August at the East London ICC.
The conference is organised by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies together with the Metro hosting over 300 delegates from 37 countries in various communication institutions represented by the African Telecommunications Union (ATU).
The WRC Conference is a treaty-level forum held every four years by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialised agency of the United Nations. The agency’s main responsibility is to coordinate the global use of radio spectrum and promote international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits while also supporting efforts to improve telecommunications infrastructure in the developing world.
Welcoming guests at the conference Portfolio Head for Institutional Operations and Civic Relations Councillor Xolani Witbooi said, “This is an event of major importance for our city and our province. We wish it success and we are confident that it will come up with ground-breaking resolutions.”
Speaking about the plight of women being oppressed in the workplace especially in ICT and Technology, Witbooi highlighted that the oppression of women in our continent in manners that are beyond any other social group is not acceptable. “Their experiences in class exploitation, gender subjugation and racial oppression, and further explained how the policy interventions that emerge from the meeting will aim to reverse this triple oppression.”
“We are confident that this meeting will focus on the issues faced by women in the workplace,” he said.
Officially opening the conference Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana encouraged women in the industry to work hard and apply for funding to boost their businesses. “We are also working with development funding institutions to assist with appropriate financing for entrepreneurs; as well as ensuring access to banking services to rural and remote communities to encourage saving and investment.”
Kekana also highlighted that in most African countries the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) can be achieved through Africa’s digital transformation, and that includes addressing the digital gender divide as part of the transformation programme. “We should ensure equitable representation of women in ICT and Technology sectors.”
The conference will culminate on Friday 30 August and is a preparatory meeting for the WRC Conference to be held in Egypt this coming November.