Freetown, Sierra Leone, April 23, 2012 -- In the backdrop of an economy in tumultous transition, Connecting Rural Communities, now in its 7th year, is hitting its strides on "The Road to Rural Broadband: Making the Economics Work." The annual event, organised by Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation, is being held under the patronage of the Ministry of Information and Communication of Sierra Leone and hosted by National Telecommunications Commission (Natcom) from June 20 to 22, 2012 at the Miatta Conference Centre in Freetown. The president of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Rt. Honourable Ernest Bai KOROMA, will address the conference as a special guest of honour, while the country's Minister of Information and Communication, Hon. Alhaji ben KARGBO will headline a session on comprehensive policy frameworks and converged communication strategies with ministers and policy-makers from across Commonwealth Africa.
Abdoulkarim SOUMAILA, Secretary-General of the African Telecommunications Union, a supporting partner of the event, will deliver a keynote on enablers to deliver accelerated universal services to rural communities and Siray TIMBO, the chairman of the National Telecommunications Commission (Natcom) will steer a panel discussion of the region's regulators on regulatory capacity and ubiquitous rural connectivity. Special workshops will cap the final day of the conference, one of them on universal access strategies and project audits led by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
The 7th Annual CRC Africa 2012 will once again bring together ministers and top policy-makers, ICT regulatory agencies, CEOs, universal service fund administrators and senior officers of operating companies, representatives of leading equipment vendors, African and non-African financiers, infrastructure installation companies and local and regional ICT stakeholders to learn from a distinguished panel of speakers and to explore strategies to develop rural broadband connectivity, services and ICT applications.