One of the objectives of the TANDEM project is to instaure a dialogue between WACREN and policy makers, international donors and regulatory authorities. With this purpose in mind, the TANDEM consortium has created the Policy and Donors West and Central Africa Group also known as PODWAG. PODWAG contributes to Objective 1 of the TANDEM project (obtaining political and financial support) by establishing a dialog platform through which its members discuss policy, financial and regulatory issues relevant to WACREN. The group has an advisory role to the TANDEM project and will work in three (3) working groups: policy working group, donors working group (financing) and regulatory working group.
The PODWAG is composed of 20 members pre-selected by the TANDEM partnership. The PODWAG members are high-profile individuals with excellent track records in their respective fields of expertise. They are representing the following target groups:
- Continental and regional organizations, ministries, universities of West and Central Africa
- Regional and international research centres
- International development partners (donors)
- Telecommunications Operators and Regulatory bodies
- Individual experts
PODWAG will establish a permanent dialogue at the policy maker and donor level, creating a community that will survive well beyond the end of the project. By bringing to the same table the relevant policy and decision makers as well as other stakeholders, TANDEM will foster the inclusion of WACREN and the NRENs in the decision-making processes. The decisive impact therefore lies in building linkages and relationships at the political, regulatory and financial decision-making level, enabling WACREN and the NRENs, starting with the PODWAG experience but extending beyond the project, to become stable reference points involved in decision-making which it will be possible to consult and involve at appropriate times.
Besides holding discussions using the Colaboratorio platform that will be made available to them, it is expected that the members of the group conduct a survey that will lead to recommendations for WACREN development.
Now that the PODAWG has been established, the next step is to start discussions in the three working groups that will deal with policy, funding and regulatory issues respectively. A community will be set up on the Colaboratorio platform to support discussions among the members. The first face-to-face meeting of the PODWAG members will be held in Accra in November 2015, as part of the TANDEM series of events.
For all the details about the PODWAG group (structure, role and composition) please refer to the public deliverable: Creation of the Policy and Donors West and Central Africa Group (PODWAG) released by the Tandem consortium.