CTO's 115th Anniversary

From Subsea to Cyberspace: Celebrating 115 years

Created in August 1901 as the Pacific Cable Board, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisations will be 115 years old in 2016. Year 2016 will also be the first year of implementation of the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Considering the ever-important contribution of ICTs in social, economic and human development, and given the special role the CTO has played ever since its creation in coordinating the Commonwealth’s engagement in the global ICT agenda, assisting member countries in areas such as technical support, capacity building and knowledge sharing, 2016 presents us with a two-fold opportunity: to highlight and celebrate the achievements of the Organisation and its members, and to plan to deliver greater value through its new strategic plan for 2016-20.

Commonwealth ICT & Industry Awards

The first Commonwealth ICT Awards aimed at recognising public, private and civil society organisations were held on 14 June 2016. Award winners were as follows:

  • Best Universal Access initiative: Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (Botswana) for its wholesale Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas providing every citizen 30 minutes free browsing every day at a minimum speed of 2 Mbps.
  • Best ICT Policy and Regulatory Initiative: National Communications Authority (Ghana) for its billing feedback mechanism.
  • Best Industry Application: Courteville Business Solutions (Nigeria) for its Regulated Product Administrative & Management Solution.
  • Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative: Etisalat Nigeria for its telecommunications engineering postgraduate programme.

Special recognitions were also given to organisations in member countries for their contributions to the CTO in recent years:

  • UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office for its support for cybersecurity.
  • Telecommunications Regulatory Board of Cameroon for its efforts in developing national ICT capacity.
  • BT for its support to board-level capacity development.
  • UK Ofcom for its support to ICT regulatory capacity development.
  • UK Department For Culture, Media & Sport for its support in Internet governance.
  • Government of Montserrat for the island’s Volcano Observatory.

Recongnitions to individuals included:

  • Professor Tim Unwin, former Secretary-General of the CTO was presented with a Legacy Award.
  • Mothusi Lekaukau accepted a posthumous Lifetime Achievement award given to his late father, Cuthbert Lekaukau, former Chairman of the CTO Council.

Commonwealth Youths ICT Applications Competition

Considering that over 60% of the Commonwealth population of 2.2 billion is under the age of 30, and also the CTO’s ethos in ensuring that ICTs can assist in harnessing the full potential of this youthful population, the CTO organised a youth ICT competition across its member countries as part of its 115th Anniversary celebrations. Winners of the 2016 competition were:

  • GiftedMom (Cameroon)
  • Jaguza Livestock (Uganda)