SADC Begins Preparations for World Radio Conference 2027 in Eswatini

 By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has kicked off its preparations for the World Radio Communication Conference 2027 (WRC-27) with a four-day meeting in Eswatini.

This is the SADC’s regional ongoing effort to establish harmonized positions and common proposals that later form part of the overall African position to influence the outcomes of WRC for the benefit of the SADC Region.

Delegates from SADC member states, along with CRASA and SATA executives, are gathering to strategize and identify key agenda items for the upcoming global event.

Principal Secretary Phesheya Dube, representing the Minister of Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) Savannah Maziya welcomed the attendees with an emphasis on regional solidarity and the importance of the WRC process.

“As we gather here today for the 1st preparatory meeting leading up to the World Radio Communication Conference 2027 (WRC-27), we embark on a journey that transcends borders while resonating with the aspirations and well-being of our people,” Dube said.

The WRC, held every four years, plays a crucial role in shaping the global framework for radio frequencies. The WRC process is more than a technical forum—it is a catalyst for progress. It shapes the global framework for radio frequencies, ensuring their efficient and equitable use.

“Beyond the technicalities lies a profound impact on our daily lives,” Dube stated.

Reflecting on past successes, Dube highlighted the region’s achievements at WRC-23, where SADC countries were instrumental in the restoration of degraded orbital slots for both the Broadcasting Satellite Service (BSS) and the Fixed Satellite Service (FSS).

“This collaborative effort ensures connectivity, communication, education, and entertainment for our people. It exemplifies the spirit of SADC—a family of nations working together for the greater good.”

Looking ahead to WRC-27, Dube emphasized the increasing prominence of space services and the need to leverage regional expertise, particularly from Angola.

“Angola, our current SADC chair, leads by example in satellite technology. We must leverage their expertise and explore innovative solutions. Eswatini is honoured to pioneer this preparatory process, recognizing that our collective wisdom surpasses individual capabilities.”

The meeting stressed the importance of inclusion and equitable access to modern communications. Dube urged that the WRC process should not remain abstract and must have outcomes that touch people’s lives, such as ensuring that farmers in various villages can access weather forecasts via satellite, children in remote villages can learn through digital broadcasts, and emergency responders and victims can communicate seamlessly during crises.

ESCCOM Chief Executive, Mvilawemphi Dlamini, highlighted the significance of the meeting for the SADC region. He expressed his pride in having the Kingdom of Eswatini chosen as the place to kick start the SADC preparatory process for the WRC-27. 

Dlamini shared his hopes that the discussions and strategy from the meeting will ensure the region plays a leading role in shaping the future usage of spectrum and space resources globally.

“If we are not careful, the old saying that ‘If you are not at the table then you are probably on the menu’ may be true for us, particularly in recognition of the fact that WRC decisions affect entire industries and ecosystems,” Dlamini warned.

Share With Friends