For more than 25 years, BDT has served Members as a reliable and dedicated resource of international practices for new markets and regulatory models. Competition and technology have vastly increased coverage and adoption of multiple services at affordable levels. Today, complex issues and new opportunities and challenges brought by emerging technologies are interwoven across network layers and across services – our capacity building and awareness efforts on such issues as cybersecurity and data protection, among others, must help equip ITU-D members with the tools for this new digital era.
My vision is of a BDT helping its Members to benefit from the drivers of innovation and economic development, and to address the risks they pose to markets and societies. We must help governments integrate ICTs into their national development frameworks, actively support their ministries to ensure digital development strategies emphasize human capacity, digital skills, and empowering people. I envisage the BDT redoubling its efforts on digital inclusion, which is at the core of the 2030 Agenda, working to bring online the remaining 3.9 billion people still offline. Together, we will make ITU-D a thriving, forward-looking community of Members served by a BDT known for quality, relevance and practical solutions.
A recognized leader with the benefit of more than 20 years at the ITU, including 14 years in the BDT, I will dedicate myself to making the BDT an effective and efficient organization in implementing the Buenos Aires Action Plan and meeting the challenges of the digital economy. As BDT Director, I will prioritize the following five areas:
Pursue partnerships: I will ensure that BDT capitalizes on its unique combination of public and private sector membership, and relationships with international organizations and institutions. I will draw on my personal connections worldwide to ensure that ITU is a leader in ICT development. The BDT will practice a culture of collaboration, including with outside investors, operators, technology companies, development banks, and expert bodies. We will partner with Members, leverage their expertise and resources, mobilize new resources, and pursue new voluntary and in-kind contributions.
Empower our regions: The BDT needs to be ready to implement the regional initiatives adopted at WTDC-17 and better respond to Members’ needs on the ground. Under my leadership, we will creatively and expertly strengthen the caliber of our regional offices, and improve regional distribution of resources. We will provide tailored technical assistance and direct delivery of in-country projects and services. We will be able to play a role in regional and national projects, sometimes alongside partner organizations such as the World Bank, World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Upgrade our capacity building: It is time to modernize the BDT’s training courses and publications to make them more useful and accessible to serve today’s decision-makers. Under my leadership, we will improve the quality of our trainers and course content. We will bring in cutting-edge knowledge from government, private sector, universities and think-tanks. Our capacity building will also enhance digital skills training, building today’s youth for the digital jobs of tomorrow.
Exploit our data better: Our Members need statistics that reflect and support evidence-based decision-making. Under my leadership, we will build up our ICT Development Index team and strengthen our analytic and forecasting capability. We will improve data collection processes, enable big data analytics, and better convert raw data into intelligence through robust and relevant research.
Increase our efficiency: The BDT must also prioritize its resources. I will introduce measures to increase transparency, strengthen accountability, improve project management, and accelerate delivery of the BDT’s work. We will make BDT meetings more productive, including remote participation to strengthen dialogue, intensify knowledge sharing, and reduce travel expenses. Meetings will generate more detailed substantive policy and regulatory content.
It would be my privilege to lead the BDT, focused on serving our Members’ needs in this exciting, challenging World!