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By Brenda Zulu

The Communications Authority of Zambia (CAZ) has been mandated by the country’s Telecommunications Act to promote research in telecommunications development.

The CAZ intends to compile relevant data on ICT infrastructure at district, provincial and national levels in order to implement universal access, said CAZ Manager of Economic Relations Mulenga Chisanga — speaking on behalf of the director of economic relations, Susan Mulikita — at a press conference.

A national ICT baseline study will take into account gender, age, disability and government vs. private sector access, Chisanga said.

In addition to ensuring universal access, the aim of the study is to create a basis for national ICT initiatives in line with International Telecommunication Union and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa indices, he explained. The data will be of tremendous benefit for investment planning, sales, forecasting and marketing, as well as vendor and service provider selection, he said.

 

 Apart from fulfilling its mandate through research, the CAZ will hold a national ICT research symposium to build research capacity within the country, aid sustainable development in the sector, and forge bonds between the authority and Zambian researchers, Chisanga said. The symposium will also help the CAZ improve on key deliverables by highlighting major issues of concern and identifying areas for potential research.

The CAZ intends that its initiatives result in improved performance by service providers, transparency in tariff setting, greater cost efficiency and a reduction in interconnection disputes, Chisanga said.

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