During The East African Communications Organization (EACO) meeting that was launched on Monday 26th June 2023 in Bujumbura (Burundi), the General Director of the Telecommunication Control and Regulatory Agency (ARCT) Dr. Samuel Muhizi said that until the end of March, 65 percent of the Burundian population have mobile phones while 24 percent have access to the internet.
“We have a challenge that in the rural areas people are less connected compared to the urban cities,” said the ARCT General Director.
The 25th Congress that took place in Bujumbura was hosted by ARCT where decision making organs of regional telecommunication bodies meet to deliberate on issues related to telecommunication in the East African Community.
“The government of Burundi is making enormous efforts not only to facilitate access to ICTs for a greater number of people, but also to put those ICTs to offer opportunities equality in the socio-economic fabric of Burundi,” said Léocadie Ndacayisaba the Burundi minister for communication.
According to the Burundi Communication minister, several projects were initiated based on the national policy for the development of information and communication technologies of Burundi from 2010-2025.
“The National Development Plan 2018-2028 align with the sustainable development goals, including the ICT component with a vision Burundi 2040 emerging country, 2060 a developed country,” said Ms. Ndacayisaba.
“The theme of the week enabling connection of the unconnected in the East African region is timely. There is a need to explore together the new avenues to connect the unconnected for sustainable development leaving no one behind,” said Eng. Patrick Baganizi the General Director of Rwanda Utility Regulation Authority and the current Chairman of the EACO.
Mr. Baganizi said that connection is key in education, health, environment, e-commerce, “the focus should now be working on promoting digital technologies for the good of all, the reason why everyone is invited to promote sustainable development through digital transformation,” he said.
The Congress is the highest decision-making organ of EACO and meets every two years while four EACO Assemblies namely: Assembly of Regulators, Assembly of Postal Operators, Assembly of Telecommunications operators and Assembly of Broadcasting Operators meet every year.
EACO was established in 2012 with the mandate of strengthening and promoting the cooperation among the EAC partner states trough the development and provision of Telecom, Postal, and broadcast services in the East Africa.