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ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

GSR-16 Global Dialogue on Digital Financial Inclusion
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt  11 May 2016

GSR-16 Global Dialogue on Digital Financial Inclusion

Opening Ceremony

Remarks by Mr Brahima Sanou,
Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau


-Eng. Mustafa Abdul Wahed, Executive President of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Egypt;
-All other High Dignitaries from Regulatory bodies, Regional Organizations, Central Banks and financial sector and private here present;
-Distinguished delegates Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning

It is my great pleasure to welcome you here in Sharm el-Sheikh, on the occasion of this GSR thematic pre-conference, the Global Dialogue on Digital Financial Inclusion. 

I am particularly happy to welcome participants from Central Banks and other regulators and finance private sector. 

On behalf of the International Telecommunication Union, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Egypt and to the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) for the kind hospitality extended to all of us today, as well as to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and MasterCard for their commitment. 

Today, we are seeing ICTs as the foundation of economic and social development. At ITU we work more and more with non-traditional ICT players because ICTs are increasingly recognized an essential pillar of many areas of life in the converged ICT ecosystem. 

This year, for the first time, the Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) is reaching out to the financial sector by organizing today’s Global Dialogue. This is a great opportunity to join forces and to define how, together, we can create an enabling environment to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Today, we have more than 2 billion people still remaining outside of the formal financial system. 

But today we also know that by connecting people and putting human face on ICTs through e-applications such as e-banking and e-payment, we can make a difference: people CAN become empowered and included in a connected society. 

Access to ICTs can provide access to financial services including basic financial services that can enhance the development of small, micro and individual enterprises. 

We have seen examples such as M-Pesa in East Africa, one of the world’s most successful money transfer services, and other such opportunities where financial services have become available at an affordable cost to people around the world.

These have enabled millions of people gain access to business opportunities and, among others, financially support to family members in remote and rural areas. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I am very happy that today, we are starting a constructive and inclusive dialogue that will provide ICT and financial sectors with an opportunity to meet, share views and experiences, and identify good practices for collaborative regulation. 

Together, we can therefore identify collaborative guiding measures to develop digital financial opportunities for all. I say Digital financial opportunities for all. 

I know, I am convinced and strongly believe that together we can do it.

Let us do it

Thank you.