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March 2015, Issue 17
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Member News

A panel featuring representatives from government, private sector and civil society opens A4AI's first multi-stakeholder forum in the Dominican Republic, its first country of engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean. Photo credit: A4AI

A4AI Hosts Largest Multi-Stakeholder Forum to Date in Dominican Republic


As A4AI kicked off its first multi-stakeholder forum in the Dominican Republic on February 24, 2015, the focus was on addressing the unequal access to ICTs in the country. Gideon Santos, the president of the board of INDOTEL, the national regulatory agency, stressed that although close to 50 percent of the population uses Internet, broadband penetration is only at 25 percent, leaving 75 percent of the population unconnected. 

"There is a gap in access by low income households, households led by women, between regions and provinces, between cities and municipal capitals, between rural and urban areas," Santos said. “Working with A4AI to reduce prices of broadband in our country is yet another step towards achieving our goal to reduce inequality in access to ICTs in the Dominican Republic.”

Over 120 participants representing several government agencies and ministries, civil society organizations, telecom operators, and Internet service providers attended and reached consensus on three priority areas that will be tackled by the A4AI-Dominican Republic Coalition:

  • Taxation of the ICT sector
  • Infrastructure Sharing
  • The Digital Agenda (with a focus on Capacity Building, Demand Creation, & Funding of Universal Access)
  • Data Collection & Research
Working groups will be established to draft and implement work plans for each respective priority area. The Coalition is scheduled to meet next in May 2015. You can access presentations and documents from the forum on our country webpage: http://a4ai.org/dominicanrepublic/ and check out photos from the event on our Flickr site
 

Meanwhile, in the Nigerian Capital...

 
On February 24-25, the A4AI-Nigeria Coalition met at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja to report on progress, plan and coordinate the production of its key deliverables during its first working meeting of 2015. The coalition meeting on February 24 was followed by two interactive workshops on Spectrum Policy and Consumer Issues, facilitated by H Nwana of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance; and Infrastructure Sharing, facilitated by Guillermo Alarcon of Alcatel-Lucent and Jose Marino Garcia of the World Bank, on February 25.

Key updates on the coalition's work in the last quarter:
  • The Ministry of Communication Technology asked to review and comment on the coalition's work plans and provide further guidance. 
     
  • A4AI Policy Manager Kojo Boakye presented on A4AI and the work of the Nigeria coalition at the February Nigeria Broadband Council meeting in Abuja. 
  • The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) appointed Engr. Abraham Oshadami, Assistant Director for Spectrum Administration as Champion for the Spectrum Working Group.  

You can access presentations and documents from the meeting and workshops on our webpage. A4AI plans  to host additional workshops for each thematic area, including facilitators from across sectors to present their perspectives to coalition members. The next coalition meeting is scheduled to take place in Lagos in June 2015. 

Photo caption: Coalition members ask questions during A4AI's interactive workshops on February 25. Photo Credit: A4AI

In this issue: 

Membership & Country Engagement Update | Member Feature Engage with A4AI
Did you know? You can access members-only documents via our website at http://a4ai.org/member-area/Login: a4ai-member | Password: alliance

Membership Update


This month, we are excited to welcome a new private sector member to A4AI: 
Global Policy Fellowship at the Rio Institute for Technology and Society (ITS)
ITS invites researchers, graduate students as well as professionals working with technology policy, to apply to its Global Policy Fellowship Program and spend four weeks in Brazil at ITS. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in research on broadband and access policy. Deadline for applications is March 20. 

Research Update


A4AI Launches Affordability Report 2014
Last week, A4AI launched its 2014 Affordability Report at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain in an event co-hosted by Ericsson. Thank you to our panelists and all of the member representatives who attended. A special thanks is also due to our Advisory Council member Barbara Baffer for helping us host our launch at the Ericsson booth. You can now access the report and a data explorer on our report webpage.


A4AI Affordability Report Launch Event at Ericsson booth. Photo Credit: Ericsson

Member Feature: Social Media Week Lagos



On February 26, A4AI hosted a rapid fire panel at Social Media Week Lagos, allowing audience members to ask experts as many questions as they wanted on the state of broadband connectivity in Africa. 

Thank you to representatives from our member MainOne, local partner the Nigeria Network for NGOs, and the A4AI-Nigeria Coalition for serving as panelists! 
Engage with A4AI! 
Call for Experts
 
As A4AI plans for an increasing number of knowledge sharing and capacity building workshops across the regions, we ask our members to identify policy and regulatory experts from their teams that can speak and present on key topics. We are particularly interested in perspectives on the topics that have been selected as priorities in current countries of engagement:
  • Infrastructure sharing and open access
  • Taxation across all segments of the industry
  • Consumer awareness and price transparency (consumer protection issues)
  • Data collection and research
Please e-mail emilie.yam@webfoundation.org with any recommendations and their contact information. 
Upcoming Events 

All members are invited to attend our presentations, panels, and forums. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with our team at any of the below events, please e-mail emilie.yam@webfoundation.org.  
March 26

A4AI-Myanmar Multi-stakeholder Forum
Myanmar ICT Park 
Yangon, Myanmar



March 30-31

A4AI-Mozambique Coalition Meeting & Workshops
Girassol Indy Village
Maputo, Mozambique

 
April 21-23

Mobile West Africa
Four Points by Sheraton
Lagos, Nigeria

*A4AI Policy Manager Kojo Boakye will be moderating a panel. 

May 6-8

Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Global Summit
Manila, Philippines 

*A4AI representative will attend.
 
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