The Togolese Parliament is marking a major milestone in the country’s digital development.
Togo has reached a major milestone in the telecommunications sector. Membership of the African Telecommunications Union marks this point. This followed the unanimous adoption of the bill by the members of parliament in June 2023. Chaired by Mrs Yawa Djigbodi Tsègan, Speaker of the National Assembly, the plenary session was attended by government representatives, including Cina Lawson, Minister for the Digital Economy, and Christian Trimua, Minister for Human Rights, Citizenship Training and Relations with the Institutions of the Republic.
The African Telecommunications Union (ATU), created on 07 December 1999 in Cape Town, South Africa, plays a major role in defending the interests of African states within the bodies of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Until now, Togo had observer status within the ATU, which limited its ability to influence important decisions affecting the country.
After rich and fruitful debates in plenary, the three parliamentary groups NET-PDP, UNIR and UFC did not find any objection and gave their approval to this bill.
Cina Lawson, Minister for the Digital Economy and Digital Transformation, welcomed the adoption of this bill, which paves the way for Togo to join the ATU, enabling the country to become a full member.
For the Minister for the Digital Economy and Transformation, the stakes are clear.
“We are delighted with the adoption of this law, because this membership is a very important step in our commitment to regional integration and the development of telecommunications in Africa. By joining the ATU, Togo moves from observer status to become a full member, which gives it the right to seek the organisation’s support in asserting its positions or defending its interests within the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Through this membership that you have just authorised, Togo joins the community of States that share our vision of a connected, prosperous and inclusive continent. Your Excellency, Madam President of the National Assembly, Honourable Members, allow me once again to express my deep gratitude and the Government’s satisfaction for the support you have given us and that you are giving to the Government’s efforts to build a better future for our Togolese brothers and sisters”.
This membership marks a significant step forward for Togo, strengthening its digital influence on the regional and international scene. By having a strong voice within the ATU and ITU, Togo will be able to actively contribute to the key decisions and policies that will shape the future of telecommunications in the country. It will also give Togo the opportunity to apply for positions within the ATU and ITU and to ensure compliance with the rules governing the broadcasting of other countries’ radio programmes on Togolese territory.
The President of the National Assembly, Mrs Yawa Djigbodi Tsègan, was delighted with the quality of the debates on this bill, which marks a major step forward in Togo’s digital development.
“The National Assembly thanks the government for its active participation in today’s debate, and expresses its admiration for the President of the Republic, His Excellency Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, for his vision and tangible actions to improve the daily lives of every son and daughter of our country,” she said.
Togo’s membership of the African Telecommunications Union also paves the way for increased cooperation with other African countries, enabling exchanges of expertise and best practices to promote the sustainable development of the telecommunications sector on the continent. The country is now positioned as a key player in Africa’s telecommunications sector, ready to fully exploit the benefits of connectivity and technological innovation to stimulate economic and social development.