Emerging Trends | ICT4SDG | ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018
October 23, 2018

Meet the Candidates: Brahima Sanou for ITU Deputy Secretary-General

ITU’s Member States will soon elect the Union’s top executives at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 (PP-18) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ITU News is highlighting written interviews (Q&As) with the candidates for each of ITU’s top posts. Below is a statement submitted Brahima Sanou, candidate for ITU Deputy Secretary-General.

My vision and commitments

3 priority areas — 3 action lines — 3 core values

My VISION is for a stronger International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the ICT ecosystem, and for ITU to play a stronger catalytic role in using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for sustainable development.

To achieve this vision, I commit to working with all the stakeholders on THREE priority areas.

  1. Broadband connectivity including access, security and affordability. 17% of the world population is still excluded from access to a mobile broadband network. Cybersecurity is a global challenge that requires a global approach and cooperation. Affordability remains a major challenge, particularly in those countries with low Gross National Income. Broadband access, security and affordability should continue to be at the top of our priorities for the digital economy to become a reality for all.
  2. Promoting ICT applications and services. ICTs applications are crucial in service delivery of health, education, agriculture, smart cities and communities. They are therefore essential to accelerating the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is through e‑applications that we will put a human face to ICTs.
  3. Creating value and prosperity. We must work towards making ICTs, particularly the emerging technologies such as Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, create value for our communities and society through innovation, empowering women, youth and people with disabilities, local content, and assisting countries during disasters and climate change adaptation.

The number of young people aged 10 to 24 years is estimated at 1.8 billion out of which close to 90% live in developing countries. ICTs should support the UN Youth Strategy “Youth2030” and create value for the youth in order for their economies to reap the benefit of the demographic dividend.

“My VISION is for a stronger International Telecommunication Union in the ICT ecosystem, and for ITU to play a stronger catalytic role in using information and communication technologies for sustainable development.”

The population over 60 is expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2030. We should work for ICTs to help them live as healthy and as independently as possible.

It is also estimated that some form of disability affects more than 1 billion people, 15% of the world population. ICTs should become a solution for them.

In the past 20 years, 1.3 million people have lost their lives and 4.4 billion were injured or left homeless as a result of climate‑related and geophysical disasters. Economic losses are estimated at US$ 2.908 trillion. Very recently, we witnessed the powerful earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, destructive floods in Nigeria and a devastating hurricane in the United States. ICTs should become a life‑saver.

“We must promote the creation of jobs and prosperity by fostering an enabling environment for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.”

Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) represent a significant portion of the world economy, contributing 35% of the world GDP and more than 50% of employment. We must promote the creation of jobs and prosperity by fostering an enabling environment for Micro, Small and Medium‑sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

To make sure that we achieve tangible results in these three priority areas, I commit on THREE action lines.

As Deputy Secretary‑General of ITU,

  1. I will assist the Secretary‑General in strategically positioning ITU to play the role that adds value to the ICT ecosystem. On operational matters Iwill provide all support to ensure efficient and smart management of financial and human resources of ITU, including the construction of the new ITU building.
  2. I will work with other Elected Officials of ITU and the Member States to eliminate all duplication of activities across the Union.
  3. I will support the Secretary‑General in resource mobilization and partnership building with other UN agencies, development partners, private sector, the Internet community, academia and NGOs.

“Broadband access, security and affordability should continue to be at the top of our priorities for the digital economy to become a reality for all.”

My actions will be grounded on THREE core values which are very dear to me and which form the bedrock of my daily life and activities.

  1. Professional and personal ethics. Loyalty to ITU and its membership is very important to me and forms the foundation of all my actions. On a personal note, I consider ethics as the most elegant expression of self‑esteem, so I will lead by example and will ensure that ethical values are central in my daily life and activities.
  2. Transparency. I am a strong believer in transparency as a means to strengthen the trust between the ITU Secretariat and ITU membership and partners.
  3. Accountability. Accountability to ITU and its membership for the utilization of resources and my personal conduct is essential to me.

I am committed to making a difference and would be honored to be given the opportunity.

Brahima Sanou is currently Director of the ITU Telecommuniation Development Bureau. Learn more about Mr. Sanou and the other candidates for ITU’s top posts on the Candidates page of the PP-18 website.
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Meet the Candidates: Brahima Sanou for ITU Deputy Secretary-General

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