First Amateur Radio Administration Course Workshop opens in Accra

The first Amateur Radio Administration course, aimed at bringing together operators, industry experts and other relevant bodies to exchange experiences and best practices in the field, is underway in Accra. The weeklong workshop is being organised by the National Communication Authority (NCA) in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Speaking at the opening session, Mr Paarock VanPercy, Director General of the NCA said that amateur radio operations involved the use of designated radio frequency for private, non-commercial and non-professional use and for exchange of messages, wireless experimentation and training. He said amateur radios needed to be regulated to ensure that the frequencies used by these operations did not interfere or impact on the operations of commercial and professional radio users. Mr VanPercy said “in addition, there is the need to ensure that the equipment being imported or used for amateur radio operations conform to the specifications set by law”. He underscored the importance of amateur radio operations, saying they had contributed immensely in the fields of science, engineering, industry and social services. Mr VanPercy admitted that the operations were yet to compete with international giants like Japan, Taiwan and North Korea who had attained technological advancement in the area. He advised Senior High Schools, polytechnics and universities to apply for licenses from the NCA to expose students to amateur radio operations for research. Mr VanPercy said “...the Ghana Police Service, Immigration Service, Armed Forces and the National Disaster Management Organisation should consider this as an important tool in disaster recovery activities, especially as a backup for other communication modes which may be disabled in serious disasters”. He announced that the NCA would soon publish the syllabus for the amateur radio examination and clearly outline modalities for the examination. Mr Hans Timmerman, President of IARU, said amateur radio operations provided technical career opportunities as well as leisure-time and research activities. He was optimistic that the workshop would build the capacity of participants who would in turn actively engage the youth in the technology for development.