By David Mukara

20th December 2018

John Omo has today officially taken the mantle as the new Africa Telecommunications Union (ATU) Secretary General, succeeding Niger’s Abdoulkarim Soumaila.

Mr.Omo received the instruments of the Union in Nairobi at a ceremony attended by Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of ICT Mr. Joe Mucheru, Principal Secretaries in the State Departments of Broadcasting and ICT Ms Fatuma Hirsi and Jerome Ochieng respectively, Comunications Authority of Kenya (CAK) Board Chair Mr. Ngene Gituku, Director General CAK Mr Francis Wangusi among other guests.

Speaking during the function, ICT Cabinet Secretary Mr. Joe Mucheru who was also recently elected as the ATU Chairman said that ATU will be leveraging on technology to break the physical and also sometimes artificial boundarieswithin the African countries and form a single digital market. He gave anexample of Kenyas Maasai community which is found in Kenya and across theboarder in Tanzania as an illustration of already how intertwined we are aspeoples of this continent.

 “Africa is one community and it is our hope that we will continue using technology andthe goodwill that we have from our leaders to ensure that we create that single digital market,” he said, adding that ATU has a big role to play in ensuring that Africa has that interoperability especially in the area of mobile money.

While making his remarks the outgoing ATU Secretary General Mr. Abdoulkarim Soumaila said it was great to see many African countries coming together to champion the Africa’s voice in the global information society and hoped that the members pray for theincoming chairman to steer the Union in a good direction. He assured him of hissupport adding that the incoming chairman will be now be serving the interestsof the whole continent, and not those of Kenya only.

“I really want to thank CA for all the support they have given to us because youare our closest collaborator in terms of ICT,” he said.

Speaking during a farewell luncheon organized in honour of the outgoing ATU SecreatryGeneral, CAK Director General said that CA is greatly honoured for the Africancommunity for giving the seat to Kenya.

CAKBoard Chair thanked Mr. Soumaila for his distinguished service to the Union and the continent at large over the past eight years, adding that he has built agood foundation for the incoming Chair will rely on as he builds and improvesthe ICT ecosystem and profile of Africa on the global stage.

He said under the leadership of Mr. Soumaila,Africa has achieved many ICT milestones, citing the Digital Migration in Kenya.

“Weare also grateful for the many initiaves that Mr. Soumaila has overseen, and more importantly in galvanizing the continent to speak with one voice in ICT matters,” he said.

The incoming Secretary General Mr. John Omo said that he was aware that he’s coming in when the ICT landscape in Africa is facing many challenges especially inareas of internet policy. He added that the Union will work closely with thePrivate sector through collaborations and negotiations.