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Kenya looks to lead African Telecommunications Union

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Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) exec to stand for election as Secretary-General.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has confirmed that John Omo, the organisation's Director of Legal Services will stand for election as Secretary-General of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) in August.

The organisation is scheduled to hold an election for the position at its Plenipotentiary Conference on 17 August in Nairobi.

Omo announced his candidature a week ahead of the 17 July deadline for all prospective candidates among the 45 ATU member states.

Omo said his objective is to position the ATU as a "truly specialised" agency of the African Union (AU) regarding ICT. "I seek to re-orient, and re-energise the ATU into a robust intergovernmental agency with a responsive value proposition to the membership. I will, therefore, continuously be engaging with the ATU membership in order to appreciate and understand key issues inhibiting their active participation in ATU activities, and together incentivise their participation. My vision is to see ATU play its rightful role as the reference point for ICTs on the continent. I will seek to leverage on active engagement with various stakeholders, including political actors at the African Union (AU) level."

He adds that he will ensure that the Secretariat and the Membership actively sell the ATU brand in the region and globally.

"I recognise that driving the African ICT agenda at global platforms requires oneness of a number of actors. My priority is to build the capacity of members, increase access to broadband, strengthen cross-border interconnectivity, and infuse innovation that can enable Africa harness the immeasurable opportunities that the digital age presents."

Omo's candidacy has been endorsed by the CA andformer Principal Secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Information, Communication, & Technology (MICT) Sammy Itemere.

Alice Koech, Program Coordinator at the ATU confirmed that current Secretary-General Abdoulkarim Soumaila, from Niger, will not stand for reelection because he has served two four-year terms as allowed by the ATU's constitution and the convention.

Soumaila has led the ATU since January 2011

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