Digitization primary focus of SAMENA Council’s agenda at First Regional Congress of Telecommunications

In what has been considered as one the world’s most prominent meetings of the telecommunications industry associations in recent times, the First Regional Congress of Telecommunications witnessed the emergence of SAMENA Council as a global advocate of ensuring sustainability of the Internet and accelerating digitization as a best means to ensuring sustainable growth in emerging digital economies.

The First Regional Congress of Telecommunications, held in Panama City recently, was represented by AHCIET, ASETA, CANTO, ESOA, ETNO, GSMA, SAMENA Council and PTC. In this congregation of regional industry associations, approximately 2000 representatives from countries from the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Caribbean, USA, and Europe participated. Their participation was centred on the need to exchange insights on various areas of interest to the ICT industry, and offer cross-regional evaluation of needs and possible ways for moving forward. Some of the outcomes of the engagement included expressed willingness by industry associations toward aiding the development of the Information Society, by ensuring that industry associations remain in contact and convene at a common platform, regularly.

The SAMENA Council was among a handful of organizations that had recommended an agenda direction for the discussion prior to the Congress, and did so in close collaboration with AHCIET. By offering the proposition to work collaboratively and being the sole organization to do so with regard to sustaining digital business growth and digital service adoption, the SAMENA Council elevated its agenda-setting goals, specific to the SAMENA region, to new agenda-defining heights in the global marketplace, which is confronted with issues common to regions around the world. Some issues include but are not limited to broadband proliferation, spectrum allocation and harmonization, investments, regulations, taxation, roaming, among others.

Dr. Mustafa Aykut, SAMENA Council Policy Board Chairman, who represented the SAMENA Council and presented the SAMENA Council’s SMART SAMENA concept, created as a part of a region-wide ICT policy and digitization study said, “The telecommunications sector has faced several technological developments over the years, affecting current and future functionalities of the markets. Regional associations contribute to development of digitization initiatives. Co-operation among regional associations strengthens the public-private-people relationships, supporting common interest actions as well as ensuring improvements in the sector.”

The SAMENA Council’s exchange of information and regional insights from South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa invited attention for collaboration and issue-specific cooperation from multiple regions, and especially from some of the worlds’ most renowned and oldest telecoms industry associations, with which the SAMENA Council will soon develop a cooperative agreement.