Egypt has successfully organized and hosted ITU Telecom
Africa 2008 for the third time in its history. The event was held in the Cairo
International Conventions and Exhibitions Center in the period from 11- 15 May
2008. The event has constituted a remarkable milestone in the international
circles of Telecommunication, Information Technology, Investment and
ITU TELECOM AFRICA has always been a lively forum that
brings together leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss the key
technological and strategic issues of the industry as a whole. It also offers a
unique networking platform for all stakeholders involved in the development of
the African continent through ICT solutions. Egypt has previously hosted ITU
Telecom Africa 1994 and 2004.
The Forum at AFRICA 2008 came under the theme “ICTs in
Africa: A Continent on the Move”. More than 40 ministers, CEOs and regulators
from all over Africa and the world took part in the forum. Participants
addressed the several ICT issues including the position of Africa today in terms
of ICT infrastructure and users’ access to new communication technologies, the
challenges and opportunities implied and solutions available through public
private partnerships, innovative technologies and entrepreneurship. It also shed
the light on some of Africa’s most dynamic drivers for new usages and
innovation: mobile wireless infrastructure, m-payments, and m-commerce.
Exhibition at ITU Telecom Africa encompassed more than 200 exhibitors from more
than 40 countries. About 7000 visitors from more than 75 countries visited the
exhibition which was divided into national pavilions. The exhibition displayed
worldwide ICT innovations, trends, products and achievements.
Egypt’s Pavilion focused on the efforts of developing and
nourishing SMEs as well as demonstrated Egypt’s efforts in promoting the
Internet through enhancing broadband penetration
Development Symposium addressed three main issues namely,
Mobile: participants discussed the possibilities of
applying new broadband tehcnologies in the light of the increasing growth of
mobile networks and applications and the extending mobile coverage across the
continent and the faster download speeds.
Regulation for Development: discussions focused on the need
to have a second wave of regulatory measures to unleash widespread, affordable
access to broadband ICT services for all.
Convergence: participants discussed the impact of
convergence, which is implying a cohesion between national legislation and
regulatory foundations as well as between different services and
During the Youth Forum, more than 100 young people from all
over the world gathered to discuss the different tehcnological, regualtory and
financial issues related to ICTs.
ITU Telecom Africa was honored this year with the
inauguration of His Excellency President Hosni Mubarak and the presence of their
Excellencies Dr. Ahmed Nazief the Prime Minister of Egypt and the ministers of
Defense, media, investment, education, high educaton, and scientific research.
More than 40 ICT ministers from all over the world took part in the event that
witnessed a presentation from His Excellency Dr. Tarek Kamel the Egyptian ICT
minister for the main pillars of the conference and the exhibition. Dr. Kamel
also explained the steps that Egypt has taken to develop the ICTs and the
potentials of regional and international cooperation in this regard.
His Excellency President Hosni Mubarak launched the
Egyptian Education Initiative, which is one of the main priorities of the
Egyptian government in the coming era. Development of Education was one of the
main items of the electoral campaign of President Mubarak and one of the top
priorities of the MCIT ICT Strategic Plan.
The event also witnessed the
celebration of the World Information Society Day, which is celebrated annually
on 17th May. The theme of the Day this year was “ICT for the Disabled” and the
potentials provided by the ICTs to help them overcome the challenges that face
them. The ITU has chosen Her Excellency Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak to grant her the
award of the year as an appreciation for her achievements and contribution in
supporting women, children and the youth as well as the disabled.
One of the main landmarks of the event was the meeting of
the m-money which was held on the margin of ITU Telecom Africa. The meeting was
attended by 200 officials from institutions of financial services, mobile
service providers, development organizations, solution providers, regulatory
organizations and policy makers.
The meeting shed light on issues related to
m-money and means of overcoming strategic, executive and regulatory challenges
that impede the effective growth of m-money services.
On the other hand, the GSM association chose Egypt for the
Governmental Leadership Award for 2008. His Excellency Dr. Tarek Kamel received
the award which came as an appreciation for Egypt’s achievements in areas of
regulatory legislations and policies that regulate the work of mobile operators.
It is worth mentioning in this regard that mobile
subscribers in Egypt have increased last year to stand at 10 millions, which
marks an unprecedented increase in the penetration rates of mobile usage.
ITU telecom Africa 2008 has also witnessed the inauguration
of the new headquarter of the ITU Arab Regional Bureau at the Smart Village. The
bureau was inaugurated by their Excellencies Dr. Tarek Kamel, the minister of
ICT and Dr. Hamdoun Touree, the Secretary General of the ITU and a number of
African ICT ministers.
For more information:
For viewing the ITU press release, kindly visit the
For more information, kindly visit the following
The Cairo International convention and exhibition Centre