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Global Industry Leaders Forum 2011 - Forum Programme
Mr Brahima SANOU


Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau


Mr Brahima Sanou was elected Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau by the Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2010 in Guadalajara, Mexico.  He took office on 1 January 2011.

Mr. Sanou has more than thirty years’ experience in the telecommunication and ICT sector, both at a regional and at an international level.

During his ten years as Head of the ITU Regional Office for Africa and Liaison Officer to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), from 2000-2010, he contributed to the development of the African telecommunication/ICT sector by helping to establish policy and regulatory frameworks, both nationally and regionally, that fostered growth, especially in mobile telecommunications.  He assisted in establishing regional associations of regulators and encouraged the setting up of a continental association of regulators, so as to facilitate the harmonization of policies and regulation thereby fostering the development of the region’s telecommunication and ICT markets.  He played a key role in the organization of the Connect Africa Summit, held in Kigali, Rwanda in October 2007 and in its follow-up.

As Coordinator, African regional project on telecommunication reform and General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), from 1997 – 2000, he was a co-author of the first report on the impact of General Agreement on Trade in Services on Africa’s telecommunication sector. He also emphasized the need for human resource development and capacity building to prepare African countries for negotiations on multilateral liberalization of telecommunication services at the level of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Prior to working for the ITU, Mr Sanou held several high-level positions in the Posts and Telecommunication Services in Burkina Faso.  He was a key player in the separation of the Posts and Telecommunication services and in the liberalization of the telecommunication sector in Burkina Faso.

Mr Sanou has served as Head of Burkina Faso’s delegation to various international and national conferences and as Governor representing 15 African countries on the Board of INTELSAT, as well as representing his country in the ITU Council for almost 10 years.  He was made Knight of the National Order of Burkina Faso (Chevalier de l’Ordre National). In recognition of his commitment and dedication in the Telecommunication field he was given the award of “Best Public/Private Manager” by Africa Telecom People in 2007.

A national of Burkina Faso, Mr Sanou holds an Engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications (ENST) in Paris and a post-graduate diploma from the Centre for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies in Paris. He speaks fluent French and English and is learning Arabic.  He is married and has three children.






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