SAMENA Council Leaders’ Summit 2023 showcases major digital economy imperatives

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SAMENA Telecommunications Council’s annual Leaders’ Summit of global and regional leaders, bringing market and government-sector representation from multiple continents, was held in Dubai on May 15th with the overall patronage of TDRA-UAE, partnership from the UAE Cyber Security Council for the event and the ITU. SAMENA Council Leaders’ Summit 2023 had the  leading collaboration of MOBILY, YANDEX, HUAWEI, strategic support from stc Group and Zain Group, as well as members’ ecosystem support of Avaya.

Under the theme  “Sustainable Connectivity and Emerging Ecosystems in Digital Economy,” the Leaders’ Summit at Atlantis – The Palm, Dubai welcomed renowned regional and global private-sector players to delve into discussions centered on ICT Infrastructure Requirements in Emerging Markets, SA-ME-NA Digital Services Landscape & New Digital Enablers; Multi-Dimensional Approaches in Cybersecurity; Evolution of 5G Digital Technologies, Future Mobile and Metaverse based Life and Business, a need for New Frequency Allocations for Telecom Operators, Non-Terrestrial Network Integration, and overall Value-Creation, among other important subject areas.

Welcoming leaders of the Industry to the Leaders’ Summit 2023, a by-invitation-only industry leadership meeting in the region, Bocar BA, CEO & Board Member of SAMENA Council, stated: “This year’s Summit has attracted exceptional participation of stakeholders and privileged patronage and participation from UAE government bodies, including TDRA-UAE, as well as collaboration from the industry’s leading regional and international ICT bodies, including the ITU, GSMA, GCC governments, the United Nations Broadband Commission, Telecom Operators, particularly Mobily, Digital Platforms, and leading Technology Providers, such as Huawei. We anticipate achieving new milestones in industry collaboration and multi-stakeholder cooperation-building in pursuit of advocacy on behalf of the Industry.”

Mobily CEO, Eng. Salman Al Badran, who is also a Board Member of the SAMENA Council, stated: “Mobily is pleased to express its commitment to accelerating digital development and socio-economic progress in the region. As a major regional digital ecosystem player, having invested in the latest mobile technologies and being aware of the opportunities and challenges ahead, we strongly believe that sustainable connectivity and continued innovation are a requirement that we all must strive together to achieve. Dialogue continuously being enabled by SAMENA Council in the shape of Leaders’ Summit, serves as a great medium of support to Operators’ objectives.”

Huawei’s President of the Middle East & Central Asia, Steven Yi, stated: “We are stepping into the 5.5G era where all things are connected through intelligence, the value of connectivity is being unleashed, and the digital economy is booming. While increasing connectivity and digital innovation – as the foundation for digital transformation – will bring social-economic benefits to the region, new cybersecurity challenges will arise. Huawei calls for broad collaboration between all stakeholders to address the challenges and safeguard their digital future, as it is a shared responsibility that cannot be addressed by one person, organization or nation alone.”

“The ICT sector and, in particular, the 5.5G technological innovation that features full-scene IoT, L4 autonomous driving network, and green ICT will play a vital role in tackling sustainability needs of the Telecom industry and its contributions to other industries. Huawei is committed to innovation, and will actively work with industry and ecosystem partners to share its best practices to continuously drive the digital economy forward, and help telecom carriers and enterprises accelerate their digital transformation. We value the need to collaborate to achieve the region’s digital requirements that can speed up the arrival of an intelligent and sustainable future and SAMENA Leaders’ Summit 2023 is a platform, which supports stakeholders to adjusting to innovative realities and achieving sustainable digital development”, Yi added.

Since 2018, the SAMENA Council’s Leaders’ Summit has been focused on 5G, which has catalyzed positive impact on 5G planning and development in the region, empowered cross-industry participation, as well as supported policy and regulatory consideration. The Summit has provided the SA-ME-NA region’s stakeholders visibility on what to expect and prepare for in the new Digital Age. In 2023, the Council aims to address evolution of 5G digital technologies and 5.5G ecosystem development requirements, building 21st century financial and telecom synergies, enabling digital competence and boost to the region’s digital economy, and supporting constructive enablement of a secure Cyberspace.

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