Malawi cries foul over frequency interference

BLANTYRE -MALAWI has appealed to other Southern African states to increase the fight against radio frequency interference.

This was said at a week long international conference which finished on Friday in the lakeshore district of Mangochi.

The conference was hosted by Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in conjunction with The African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute (Afralti).

Delegates included players in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry from Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Mauritius.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Afralti Senior Consultant Jared Baraza confessed that there was interference of frequencies among southern region radio service providers.

He said the problem could only be addressed through such conferences.

“This problem should be addressed now, if we are to provide quality services to our people. That is why we decided to have this workshop,” said Baraza.

He noted that the frequency interference was a result of using out-dated equipment.

“If you use analogue you expect to take a big space on the frequencies, unlike when you use digital equipment.

“We are in a world of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in which we are supposed to use digital equipment to purposefully use the spectrum,” Baraza said.

In his official opening address, Deputy Minister of Information and Civic Education, Kingsley Namakhwa urged players in the electronic media to ensure that poor people are getting quality services.

“If we are to develop further we need service providers in the electronic media industry to ensure that they produce quality things. Because you can’t spread development messages when there is interference among our radio stations.

“This meeting should be something that will help Malawians and the rest of citizens in southern African nations,” said Namakhwa.

This is the third time Macra is conducting radio interference related international conference.

MACRA’s Finance and Administration Director Henry Chibowa said they were impressed the meetings were paying dividends.

“The problem is now being reduced tremendously. It just shows how important the meetings have been,” Chibowa said.

Afralti is an inter-governmental organisation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and serves the ICT sector in Africa. It’s key mandate is to provide human resources capacity building through high-level quality training, consultancy and advisory services to both management and the technical personnel in the African ICT.