H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, The Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), presented the successful UAE experience in employing the ICT sector to achieve digital transformation as an example to follow and develop upon in other countries. This took place during Al Mansoori participation in a panel discussion held by a number of senior officials and experts as part of the Africa IT & Telecom Forum, hosted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The Panel discussion included H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, H.E. Claude Isaac Dé, Minister of Digital Economy and Post, Ivory Coast, H.E. Bocar Ba, CEO Samena Telecommunications Council, and H.E. Karim Sy, Digital Africa. The discussion focused on key issues related to digital transformation and meeting the future requirements of ICT sector to ensure sustainable development and peoples’ aspirations.
On this participation, H.E. Al Mansoori said: “This participation is part of our efforts to interact with international experiences as well as to showcase the Emirati experience for the benefit of others according to the directives of our wise leadership to make the UAE an expertise hub for those who want to benefit from our experiences that we have applied throughout the Union’s journey, particularly in the field of e-government and ICT sector.”
During the discussion, H.E. Al Mansoori reviewed the UAE’s successful experience in the field of digital transformation and smart service. He said: “The UAE has achieved leading position in the ICT sector, through several factors, the most important of which is leadership, enhancing national competencies and team spirit. Within a few years, several creative initiatives have been implemented in the country. Our leadership established the foundation for digital transformation in 1999 by establishing Dubai Internet City. In 2000, we launched the first electronic payment portal, the “e-Dirham”. In 2001, The Prime Minister launched the first e-government in the region; Dubai e-Government, which was followed by the other emirates who launched their own initiatives and e-government projects, starting with the Abu Dhabi e-Government.”
Al Mansoori added: “In 2017, the UAE Cabinet announced the convening of an annual meeting at the national level for representatives of all UAE government entities to discuss the challenges and strategies related to the country's five-year national development plan known as the" UAE 2071 Centennial” , resulting in 120 initiatives, covering health, education, environment, digital transformation, community happiness, and others. Some of these initiatives are fast, such as Bashr, Mabrouk Ma Yak, and others are long-term, such as Mars Science City on 1.9 million square feet making it the largest city to simulate life on the Red Planet.”
Moreover, a lunch has been organized courtesy to the UAE, during which H.E. the TRA Director General and a number of ministers and officials discussed the opportunities of cooperation between the UAE and African countries in the field of ICT, through sharing experiences and knowledge, particularly in relation to the Center of Digital Innovation (CoDI), the Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT), and the Virtual Academy. H.E. Al Mansoori expressed the UAE’s readiness to open the registration opportunity in the Academy to the African countries wishing to benefit from the programs available on this platform, with the possibility of adding new programs to meet their needs.
Furthermore, TRA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Agency for International Telecommunications Services (ANSUT) of the Ivory Coast to enhance the existing friendly relations between the two countries, on the sidelines of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP18) held in Dubai from 29 October to 16 November 2018. The MoU aimed at exchanging information, documents, exchange of experts, bilateral consultations, and joint organization of technical workshops, seminars, study visits and training courses, and dissemination of best practices in telecommunication development.