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LIBERIA

  • "Liberia: Telecommunications Regulatory Body Approved," WDR/Intelecon Regulatory News, 16 August 2006: "Liberia's Senate has confirmed the Chair and the Board of Commissioners of the newly established Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA)..."
  • "As part of its statutory functions, the Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) is in the process of rationalizing spectrum usage and frequency in the country. In this regard the LTA has, for the past few months, been gathering relevant data from sector players and publishing relevant public notices and announcements to this effect. All concerned are advised that at the end of the ongoing exercise, the LTA will have no choice but to withdraw the licenses and frequencies of those entities that have not contacted the LTA for the purpose of regularizing their licensing and frequency status. The LTA is an Independent Regulatory Body established by an Act of the National Legislature to sanitize the Telecommunications sector of the Republic of Liberia..." ---Announcement broadcast on Liberian Television, November 2006.
  • E-Liberia: Resource Area for ICTs and Liberian Development. Initially, this is an archive of materials from the "E-Liberia Vision 2006" meeting at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on 13 September 2006. But it will probably grow into something much richer. At that meeting, Boutheina Guermazi from the World Bank's Global ICTs department, said there is no "policy, legal or regulatory framework" yet in Liberia, just an "Ad hoc liberalization process" and an "Ad hoc licensing approach". What is needed is an " 'authorizing instrument' creating [an] interim regulatory framework..." (quoted from notes taken by Celeste Buckhalter). Also at this meeting, Liberia's President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said: "When my Government took office on January 16, 2006, following twenty five years of decline and fourteen years of devastating war and conflict, we inherited a Liberia with uprooted social and family institutions; a criminalized and ruined economy; a woefully destroyed economic and social infrastructure; a lack of basic services and the virtual absence of good governance and the rule of law. In the months since we took office, we have worked virtually round the clock to assess the situation... [We] are considering the establishment of a National Steering Committee, consisting of expert Liberians from around the country, to draft a National ICT Policy.... We will ask the Committee to direct their focus especially on Community Access and Development... I am delighted to acknowledge an emerging set of ICT collaborations between [Georgia] Tech and Liberia. Dr. Michael Best, who is with us today, is your faculty lead on these collaborations..."
  • "National Telecommunications Policy and Strategy: Draft Discussion Paper," 29 June 2005. This excellent policy paper was sponsored by the World Bank and drafted by Judith Hellerstein & Associates of Washington, DC:
    "...The [Liberian Telecommunications Authority] shall strive to avoid rules that restrict spectrum use to particular services or applications, so long as the user operates within the technical parameters applicable to the particular radio frequency band and does not produce interference harmful to other users... The LTA shall avoid creating artificial shortages of spectrum by withholding assignments..."
  • Boutheina Guermazi in "Attracting Investments in Post-Conflict Countries: The Importance of Telecommunications" (an online discussion), 5 May 2005: "Liberia found itself in 'mobile licensing disarray' and a chaotic liberalization process. All the GSM licenses that have been awarded (at least seven) were based on bilateral negotiated arrangements where the Ministry of Post and Telecom seems to be the weaker part in the negotiations process. This resulted in overly under-priced licenses, major discrepancies in the treatment of different operators, many gaps in license terms and conditions, and worst of all, duplicative and conflicting spectrum allocations. With support from the World Bank, Liberia is now trying to guide sector reform through the elaboration of a telecom policy, the enactment of a telecom act, and the establishment of an independent regulatory agency..."

Africa - Regional Overview