As part of its capacity-building activities, IEEE SA held a Fellowship Program for regulators and policy makers from emerging economies during the IEEE 802 Local Area Networks/Metropolitan Area Networks Standards Committee (IEEE 802) Plenary standards development meeting, held 4-9 March 2018 in Rosemont, IL, USA. Participation in this program provided insight into the IEEE SA open standards process, the technology related to IEEE 802, and the opportunity to network with individuals and organizations from around the world.
Participants in this year’s program were Richard Anago, Director of International Affairs and Cooperation, Ministry of Development of the Digital Economy and Posts (Burkina Faso); Lloyd Matabishi, Spectrum Engineer, Planning and Licensing, Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA); Rudo Mudavanhu, Managing Director, Africom (Zimbabwe); and Yvonne Umutoni, ICT Standards, Compliance and QoS Monitoring Officer, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA).
“The IEEE SA Fellowship Program for policy makers and regulators is a unique chance for participants to learn first-hand about the IEEE standards development process and to directly engage with the technologists developing the standards,” said Jodi Haasz, IEEE SA International Affairs senior manager. “IEEE learns about the challenges and priorities facing developing countries and, through their participation in the program, participants may identify solutions to those challenges.”
The Fellowship Program participants attended a variety of IEEE 802 working group meetings as well as presentations on specific technical topics of interest. Participants were also encouraged to interact with expert technologists on applied scientific topics and to contribute to working-group discussions.
“Attending the program provided the opportunity to learn about the IEEE standards development process and to interact with and learn from the experts developing IEEE 802 technologies,” said Matabishi. “I also learned about upcoming technologies within the IEEE 802 scope, including TV White Space. This gave me insight on how to develop TV White Space regulations for Zambia.”
“In Burkina Faso, there is a saying that ‘it’s good to hear about something more than once, but it’s even better to have seen it once’,” said Anago. “The IEEE SA Fellowship Program gave me the opportunity to understand the IEEE standards development process and to meet many stakeholders. It was a learning experience that will be helpful in my professional career.”
“During my participation in the IEEE 802 plenary meetings, I gained a lot of information, especially from the IEEE 802.11™, IEEE 802.15™, IEEE 802.18™, IEEE 802.19™, IEEE 802.22™, and IEEE 802.24™ working groups,” said Umutoni. “Due to the knowledge and experience gained from participating in the IEEE SA Fellowship Program, I plan to stay an active participant in IEEE 802. In addition, if practical, I will see how to coordinate with IEEE staff and organize an event, such as a workshop or a forum, focused on IEEE 802 in Rwanda or in the Eastern Africa region.”
“Attending the IEEE SA Fellowship Program enabled me to appreciate the amount of work and dedication it takes to develop standards,” said Mudavanhu. “Attending an IEEE SA meeting is like watching human beings perform work typically done by computer software. The process goes through refined procedures; the results of which improve the life of humanity. This is really a place for innovation and I am grateful to have been exposed to this.”
For more information about the IEEE SA Fellowship Program, please contact Jodi Haasz, International Affairs senior manager.