|Issue:||Africa and the Middle East 2008|
|Author:||Dr Hamadoun Touré|
|Organisation:||International Telecommunication Union|
Dr Hamadoun Touré is the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union. As Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau from 1999 until 2006, he played a significant role in the World Summit on the Information Society, held in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005, by launching numerous projects based on partnership building with International Organisations, Governments, Civil Society and the Private Sector. Earlier, Dr Touré served as Africa’s Regional General Manager for ICO Global Communications, as INTELSAT’s Director for the Africa Region and as its Group Director for Africa and the Middle East. Dr Touré is committed to making ITU an innovative, forward-looking organisation adapted to meeting the challenges created by the new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) environment. He is proficient in three official languages of the Union: English, French and Russian. Dr Hamadoun Touré holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad and PhD from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow.
ITU TELECOM is a global ICT showcase, comprising a major exhibition, a high-level forum and a host of other opportunities for the industry as well as for policy-makers. This year the regional event is being hosted in Cairo, Egypt bringing the most modern state-of-the-art in ICT to the cradle of an ancient civilisation. TELECOM AFRICA will attract top names in Africa as well as global leaders from both government and industry to explore growth and investment opportunities offered by the African ICT sector. It’s a networking platform for the world’s ICT community to come together, meet, explore the latest trends and technologies – and get business done. The African ICT sector has grown steadily in a number of core areas such as mobile, which has increased at twice the global rate over the past five years. Mobile phones have now surpassed fixed line telephone access on the continent; the growth fuelled by factors such as market liberalisation and increased levels of national and international competition. Broadband, too, is expected to make the connectivity leap across Africa, leading to increased convergence and migration to next-generation networks. Cairo is a key business hub. It is an ideal vantage point to observe all the unfolding trends as well as the wealth of opportunities that this exciting region has to offer. AFRICA 2008 will be a critical milestone for the African ICT sector, offering a unique platform for the most innovative minds to make the right connections. I invite you to participate in ITU TELECOM AFRICA – to see and to be seen at this premier event. ITU TELECOM AFRICA provides a window to the world of cutting edge ICT all under one roof. It’s a unique opportunity for all concerned – manufacturers, vendors, service providers, users, buyers and decision-makers. Besides being a high-level platform for major announcements, TELECOM is also a major forum for constructive debate, giving shape to the future of the ICT industry. AFRICA 2008 will bring together CEOs, ministers, regulators and policy-makers from across this diverse region to explore the latest technologies and new infrastructure solutions, including prospects for the region’s fast-growing mobile markets, along with the impact of market liberalisation and regulatory reform as drivers for further growth and investment. The Forum will also explore the wealth of new opportunities for business partnerships, trade and investment which are flourishing across the region, and take an in-depth look at the types of policies and strategies which have worked. Participants will examine concrete steps to connect Africa, replicating the success in mobile to fill infrastructure gaps in broadband connectivity across the African continent. They will also take into account the commitments made at the Connect Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda last October. Africa 2008 is a landmark in the growth and expansion of ICT in Africa, and a critical step for Africa’s overall economic development. I look forward to seeing you at ITU TELECOM AFRICA! Dr Hamadoun Touré Secretary-General International Telecommunication Union