The Commonwealth ICT Awards and Commonwealth Youth ICT Applications Competition have been announced among activities lined up to mark the 115th anniversary of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO).
CTO announced this recently at a special anniversary launch ceremony attended by over 120 member country representatives, diplomats, industry executives and journalists.
The anniversary, which will be celebrated under the theme “From Subsea to Cyberspace”, will include the holding of the Commonwealth ICT Awards for achievements by members in a range of areas including universal access, capacity building, policy and regulatory environments, cybersecurity, and youth empowerment, as well as the Commonwealth Youth ICT Applications Competition aimed at youths in Commonwealth countries, with entry categories for 2016 to include e-commerce, e-education, e-agriculture, and e-health.
In her congratulatory message to the Shola Taylor, Secretary-General, CTO, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II said that she was interested to learn that “the anniversary launch event will look to a future of new technologies, as well as reflect of the role of telecommunications over the last century.”
After giving a brief historical account of the history of the CTO to delegates guests at the anniversary launch ceremony held in London, Secretary-General Shola Taylor says that “the ICT landscape is changing fast and the theme of our celebrations aptly captures the developments that are taking place. The challenges of building infrastructure to provide for the four billion people currently not connected in the world stares us in the face.
“Governments have to adopt the right policies. Regulators have to ensure that they provide an enabling regulatory environment to attract the high capital investments required for infrastructure expansion. Operators and service providers must also deliver the much needed infrastructure to spur economic growth,” Taylor adds.
The CTO’s origins date back to 1901 with the creation of the Pacific Cable Board (PCB) established to operate the first trans-Pacific sub-marine telegraphic cable linking Canada to Australia. With the advent of radio communications and the expansion of the cable system to other regions forming a global submarine cable network, PCB would undergo several changes, including the creation of Cable & Wireless and, shortly after, the Commonwealth Communications Council, one of the bodies created to oversee access to the cable system and which will be later merged to form the CTO in its present form.