THE FREE ROAMING PROJECT.

In 2016 in Dakar , Senegal WATRA elaborated an road map for the establishment of free raoming area in West African. In November , 2016 six countries signed the Abidjan agreement to implement a free raoming between them. By The end of March 2017, 4 countries implemented the free raoming system. Today, citizens mooving from Senegal to Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinée, Côte D’Ivoire, Togo, Bénin are enjoying free raoming system. They can keep and use freely there country mobile number when traveling in this aera without any extra charges for raoming. WATRA is expecting others members to join and implement the Abidjan agreement on free raoming for the free moving of people in West Africa.

THE NEW QUALITY OF SERVICES GUIDE LINES PROJECT

With the rapid evolution of technology, operators now offer a multitude of services of choice to their customers who are becoming more and more demanding. New services are born on a daily basis to the delight of customers, leading to an ever increasing use of data in mobile networks. This strong growth in data services is leading to a sharp deterioration in the quality of services. From then on, quality management of services has become a real daily concern for regulators. Indeed in almost all our countries, the service offered is not up to the expectations of consumers, because the quality of service is not the appointment causing huge losses of time and money to users. If the customer has access to the services of their choice, almost all networks are similar compare to the quality of services they offer. Poor quality of service has become a recurring problem that current practices can not fix. We must therefore be creative and find solutions to this daily problem that penalizes consumers (waste of time and money) and all users of ICT services.

In addition, with the development of mobile Internet services, data services are growing at the expense of voice services. Our current performance metrics used to calibrate our networks no longer meet quality standards for data services. For this reason, ARTAO requested and obtained assistance from the ITU to update these performance indicators. In response to our request, ITU has committed an expert to conduct a study and develop new guidelines to update quality of service control indicators to take into account the management of new data services. Under the new guidelines, ARTAO will help regulators to closely monitor operators to ensure quality services to consumers, especially with the ever-increasing growth of new mobile data services.

To enable its members to take ownership of these new indicators, the Assembly of West African Telecommunications Regulators (ARTAO) has taken the initiative to organize a validation workshops. To this end, in December 2017, ARTAO and ITU had organized a workshop in Dakar to validate these new guidelines in collaboration with ESMT followed by another one in July  2018 in Abidjan in collaboration with the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications / ICT (ARTCI) of Côte d’Ivoire.

THE SPIDER PROJECT

The SPIDER project is a support received from Swedish Development Agency SIDE through Stockholm University to WATRA for the capacity building of WATRA members.

In 2018 an agreement has been between the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), located at the Department of Computer and System Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University, and the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly ( WATRA), on which

WATRA agree to perform, and SPIDER agrees to grant a financial contribution for the implementation of the project to support to participants of the round 2018A of the capacity building programme “ICT Regulation – Policy and Practice” in their implementation of change initiatives.

In 2018 two (2) countries have selected for the project running between 2018-05-20 and 2019-02-28.  Three participants from NCC Nigeria with one project and two participants from LTA Nigeria with two (2) projects have been sponsored. They attended the two weeks training in Stockholm and 3 day evaluation workshop in Kigali (Rwanda) in September 2018 with the financial support of SPIDER.

In 2019, the following countries will join the project: BENIN, BURKINA FASO, COTE D’IVOIRE, GUINEE, LIBERIA, MALI and NIGER.

THE E-WASTE PROJECT

Background

Industrial revolution followed by the advances in information technology during the last century has radically changed people’s lifestyle. In West Africa, with the liberalisation of telecommunications sector and completion through the establishment of modern legal and regulatory structures for telecommunications a common, virile common telecommunications markets, the number of ICT and telecommunications users is increasing. Today, we have more than 250 millions mobile users in West Africa. In the majority of ECOWAS countries, the penetration rate is more than 100 %. One of the consequences of the development of the ICT and telecom sector in West Africa is the proliferation of ICT equipment and accessories. This development has not only helped the human race, but also has led to new problems of contamination and pollution bringing another problem in Africa which is the management of electronics waste: E-waste, a new challenge coming from the technological prowess namely the management of E-waste.  For example, personal computers (PCs) contain certain components, which are highly toxic, such as chlorinated and brominated substances, toxic gases, toxic metals, biologically active materials, acids, plastics and plastic additives. The hazardous content of these materials poses an environmental and health threat. Thus proper management is necessary while disposing or recycling e-wastes.

With the steady advancement of global technology, people rush to buy latest technology devices such as laptops and mobile phones after disposing their old ones; thus, laying a huge burden on the planet Earth and leading to a new eco disaster in the making.

Being part of the technology speeding-up development, Africa is witnessing a growing number of household using computers and mobile phones subscribers which reached more than 100%.

Africa is also the first destination of developed countries e-wastes.

West Africa is therefore facing the same environmental challenge that the world has recently known – the electronic waste; and must prepare to combat this eminent threat by means of recycling. In addition, e-waste of developed countries, such as western countries, disposes their wastes to Africa and other developing countries. Africa is today the grave of developed countries e-waste.

Looking for a range of means for e-waste treatment in addition to a number of national and regional initiatives, plans, programmes or strategies for electronic waste management, WATRA would like to establish some regional appropriate management and industries in West Africa.

Justification

Popular and informal name for electronic products at the end of their useful life, E-wastes are considered dangerous, as certain components of some electronic products contain materials that are hazardous, depending on their condition and density. The hazardous content of these materials pose a threat to human health and environment. Discarded computers, televisions, stereos, copiers, fax machines, electric lamps, cell phones, audio equipment and batteries if improperly disposed can leach lead and other substances into soil and groundwater. Many of these products can be reused, refurbished, or recycled in an environmentally sound manner so that they are less harmful to the ecosystem.

It is in this perspective that the Assembly of the West African Telecommunications Regulators (WATRA) request and receive grant from Africa Development Bank to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of e-waste management system in West Africa.

For this purpose, the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) Looked and engaged the services of consultant firm to conduct this feasibility study in 2018.

Objectives of the assignment

The key objectives of this assignment are to:

  • Conduct a e-waste environment pollution survey and analysis in West Africa;
  • Propose solutions for e-waste management in West Africa   to ensure that electronic products are recycled in a safe, effective manner, to avoid environment pollution in our region.
  • Conduct technical and marketing study to establish electronics recycling companies whose aim is to provide the opportunity to recycle safely, conveniently and responsibly in West Africa.
  • Make recommendations on initiatives to achieve a sustainable management of e-waste to combat this eminent threat by means of recycling.
  •  Establish the implementation action plan.

Scope of Work

The consultancy firm will conduct a detailed industry and market analysis of e-waste management system within West Africa which would ascertain how to establish industry in order to tackle the e-waste problem to make appropriate recommendations for the implementation of such industry  in West Africa.

Duties and responsibilities of the consultant

Within the above context, the consultant will be required to do the following:

  • Review the current situation of e waste in West Africa including the current treatment mechanism where it exists;
  • Review /develop an appropriate  mechanism that can help to treat e-waste in West Africa ;
  • Benchmark  and review the best practice of e-waste management in other part of Africa and the world in general;
  • Analyse the financial implication of the proposed policy and strategy
  • Presents the findings
  • Make appropriate  recommendations  to ensure they are competitive and  in line with the economic realities in the 15 member states;
  • Develop an implementation plan for WATRA.

After international bidding process concluded by the African Development Bank Group and WATRA a firm has been selected to conduct the study on e-waste.The study is completed and WATRA is trying to organize a validation workshop in 2019.