Future of digital development through stakeholder collaboration redefined at SAMENA Telecom Leaders’ Summit 2016

Sunday 22 May 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: SAMENA Council's Telecom Leaders’ Summit 2016 opened in Dubai in the esteemed presence of International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and with the active participation of top leaders from both telecom operators as well as regulatory authorities in the region. As SAMENA Council's most anticipated stakeholder cooperation-building and thought leadership industry gathering, Leaders' Summit brought together renowned personalities from the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia, and Europe.

A key milestone witnessed by the regional public-sector and private-sector leadership during the Leaders' Summit was the signing of MOU between the International Telecom Union (ITU), Telecom Regulatory Authority of the UAE, and Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program (MBRSLP). The signing ceremony was attended by dignitaries from the UAE as well as from other regional governments, Group CEO's from the region's largest telecom operators, including top leaders from SAMENA Council's board of directors, all of whom had convened to participate in SAMENA Council's Leaders' Summit in Dubai.

The main panel discussion at the Summit was an exchange of insights and commentaries around the theme “Necessities of the evolving market and relevant legislation and regulation”. Dr. Khaled Biyari Group Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Telecom and Chairman of SAMENA Council led the discussion, reiterating the need for telecom operators to expand their digital visions in view of both business needs as well as socio-economic imperatives. Dr. Biyari remarked that "Success now increasingly depends on gaining a deeper understanding of the evolving digital ecosystem and the value-chain, developing or acquiring the capabilities needed to flourish, and ensuring that such ecosystems remain sustainable. New partnership-oriented mindset and strategies need to be adopted across the stakeholder spectrum. For telecom operators to thrive and not simply survive such approaches are integral to future success."

SAMENA Council's Leaders’ Summit 2016 was also host to a number of high-level meetings, including the much-anticipated meeting between the ITU and regional operators and GSMA, which was specially facilitated by SAMENA Council to assist in building better cooperation and understanding among telecom operators and regulatory authorities with the active involvement and advisory oversight of the ITU. Furthermore, the SAMENA Council Roundtable (SALT) was held, creating a new platform for regional operators and regulatory bodies to engage with each other in a mutually resourceful and facilitative manner, for the purpose of aligning priorities in ICT development.

Mr. Bocar BA, CEO of SAMENA Council, sharing his observations on the Leaders' Summit stated that "True progress in the development of the Digital Economy is only possible if stakeholder inclusion is enabled and we strive for it by bringing the public and the private sector leadership together. Our business and our ecosystem are very complex. Fortunately, the quality of the gathering in our Leaders' Summit here in Mina A'Salam clearly indicates that our government and business leaders are not only ready to embrace new insights and mutually rewarding ways to rethink, they are also fully willing to define their success with each other's direct involvement. Moreover, we are continually observing that government leaders are becoming relatively more open toward understanding the pressing issues that the private sector is facing."

On its third year as host sponsor of SAMENA Council's Leaders' Summit, Huawei was represented by Mr. Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East and Mr. Charles Ding, Senior Vice President, Huawei Global, commenting on the success of the Summit, Mr. Yang said, “The SAMENA Telecommunications Council is defining a roadmap for continued growth and transformation in an industry that serves as the key driver for every sector in this digital era we are living in. As the leading solutions provider to these networks, Huawei sees an open, collaborative approach as essential to shared success through cross-stakeholder participation and we are keen to have our stakeholders take advantage of our ‘Open ROADS to a Better Connected World’ strategy during this seminal event. This is an industry-focused strategy that will drive continued innovation by delivering exceptional services and experiences to telecom customers. Our Global Connectivity Index report being launched at this event demonstrates how ICT development can dramatically accelerate economic growth, increase GDP for any country, and deliver operational efficiency, productivity and quality across all vertical sectors.

Mr. Ding sharing his insights about the leaders’ summit success highlighting that, “The Global momentum in digital transformation adoption presents an opportunity for governments and private sector leaders to demonstrate the true value of open collaboration in driving cross- industry success and innovation. ICT advancements in telecommunications play a particularly important role as the enabler of building knowledge-based economies. Today, connectivity serves as the platform for all innovation to function and benefit people. Driven by responsible operations, ongoing innovation and open collaboration, Huawei has established a competitive ICT portfolio of end-to-end solutions in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing, all leading to enabling a future information society and building a better connected world.

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