Digital economy in focus

To be held under the theme “Building the Digital Economy of the Middle East", Leaders' Summit 2018 will build on past discussions, centered on enabling a true, regional digital economy
Bocar BA, CEO and Board Member of SAMENA Council
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Bocar BA, CEO and Board Member of SAMENA Council


SAMENA Telecommunications Council’s annual Leaders’ Summit will be held on May 3rd, 2018, with the patronage of Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE. Hosted for the fifth consecutive year by Huawei, the event is co-sponsored by Ericsson Middle East, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du), Alfa (managed by Orascom TMT), Sudatel Group, Numbase Group and Airspan.

The one-day leaders-only event is the seminal summit for materialising private and government partnerships and collaboration within the ICT industry of the region. The summit will congregate leaders and influencers from within the telecommunications industry across South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond.

“Our focus during Leaders' Summit 2018 is on understanding requirements and multiple dimensions in building the region's digital economy, and how such an economy would be made sustainable and, equally so, how best telecom operators can play a decisive role in shaping up regional, digitally-enabled socio-economics. This year, I not only anticipate witness successful and goal-setting discussions at the Summit but a much bigger representation of geographies from around the world," said Bocar BA, CEO and Board Member of SAMENA Council.

Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East added: “Huawei is ushering in the 5G era by laying the groundwork for new networks, developing 5G commercial devices, and nurturing an ecosystem of telco organisations, vendors, and consumers prepared to seize new opportunities. The arrival of 5G will support national plans and accelerate digital transformation, and the SAMENA Council conference is a great occasion to gather ICT industry leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities on the road to 5G.”

Marwan Hayek, Chairman and CEO of Alfa said: “We are taking part in the SAMENA Council Leaders Summit after accomplishing the 1st 5G Trial in Lebanon in April and achieving a record speed of 25 Gigabits/sec, the highest throughput in Lebanon’s history”.

Hayek added: “This gathering is an excellent opportunity to align with all SAMENA Council partners on how to move the ICT Industry further and explore ways on how we can build a future of telecom where humanity is in our core business and where we strive to improve lives and support economies and national development through technology”.

To be held under the theme “Building the Digital Economy of the Middle East", Leaders' Summit 2018 will build on past discussions, centered on enabling a true, regional digital economy. The Summit's aim is to encourage industry leaders to consider an incentivised, stakeholder-inclusive business environment where digitisation, fifth-generation technologies and regulatory frameworks, and new digital service platforms would define the rules of the game, and would determine how best the value of digital is realised.

“Undoubtedly, SAMENA Council can be described as a unique platform for sharing knowledge, know-how and expertise in the ICT sector. I’m honored, this year, to be elected member of SAMENA Council Board of Directors, which is a huge responsibility to be assumed by my company to convey, with efficiency, the important messages of this Council” said Tarig Hamza Zainelabdin, CEO of Sudatel.

Various regional leaders representing network operators, regulatory authorities, ICT service providers, global ICT leading agencies, and policy bodies from Asia and Europe have confirmed their participation in Leaders' Summit 2018, including international bodies such as the ITU and GSMA.

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