IX PORTUGUESE-SPEAKING COUNTRIES' COMMUNICATIONS MINISTERIAL MEETING
19 August 2016
Mr Brahima Sanou
Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau
Excellency Mr. Carlos A. Fortes Mesquita, Minister of Transport and Communications, Mozambique
Excellency Dr. Manuela Rebello, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mozambique
Excellencies, Ministers here present,
Prof. Americo Muchanga, President of INCM
Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to join you, here in Maputo, for the ninth Portuguese-speaking Countries' Communications Ministerial Meeting.
On behalf the International Telecommunication Union and my other colleagues Elected Officials of ITU, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Government and the people of Mozambique for hosting this important conference and for the warm welcome extended to me.
I here today to express my gratitude to the Portuguese speaking countries for their support to ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau that I have the honor to lead and for your contribution along with other stakeholders to the implementation of the Dubai Action plan and the achievement of concrete results particularly regarding the Regional Initiatives.
I am also here today because I truly believe that regional organizations such as ARCTEL-CPLP are at some extent the pillars of ITU, and strong coordination at regional level can only make ITU stronger.
Distinguished delegates ladies and gentlemen
The international community has now embarked on the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, known as SDGs and their 169 targets.
The tremendous development of ICTs will help to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs because ICTs cut across each and every SDG.
E-education, e-health, e-agriculture, big data, open data, cloud computing, and the development of the Internet of Things are offering huge opportunities for achieving sustainable development.
I am pleased to say that the next ITU's World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17), which will be held in Buenos Aires from 9 to 20 October 2017, will focus on the theme of ICT④SDGs.
The adoption of the SDGs has broadened your mission and mandate. You are now required not only to provide broadband and universal access to ICT services at affordable price, but equally important, to make ICTs work for other economic sectors. Your actions should go beyond the ICT sector to take into account the ICT ecosystem.
You therefore need to move beyond vertical ICTs policy and initiate collaborative policies that embrace the ICT ecosystem.
We need to establish a structured dialogue with other ministries and the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau has taken the lead in initiating such dialogue.
In February this year ITU and UNESCO organized a Policy Forum including ministers of education and ministers of ICTs to explore the role that policies and cross-sectoral collaboration can play in fostering innovation and the use of mobile technology to improve the quality, equity and accessibility of education.
In may ITU and WHO organized an inter-ministerial round table to discuss the use of ICTs to improve universal health coverage, the adoption of digital technology in the health sector and the importance of continuous cross-sectoral collaboration. Minister Das Neves was there. Thank you.
ITU is working with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop an e-Agriculture Strategy Guide to help States to adopt a strategic approach in making the best use of ICT developments in agriculture.
In May this year we also organized an event on Digital Financial Inclusion that brought together telecom/ICT Regulators and the banking system.
We are moving to a new ecosystem where ICTs are less about optical fiber, zettabyte, satellite, 4G, 5G, tablets, smartphones or whatsoever.
We are moving to a new ecosystem where ICTs are about streamlining Government processes, bringing education to the neediest people in order to create national cohesion, inclusiveness and economic growth.
An ecosystem where ICTs are about extending health services to rural and remote areas and to the most vulnerable strata of our society.
An ecosystem where ICTs are about facilitating trade and business through smart harbors and smart cities.
An ecosystem where ICTs are about saving lives when natural disasters strike.
Above all an ecosystem where ICTs are just about people.
The role of the government, your role, honorable ministers, is extremely important and critical for building this ecosystem.
We are at the turning point of our sector and all stakeholders, governments, regulators, ICT service providers, academia, research community, consumers and civil society need to change the way they interact with each other in order to create this new enabling ecosystem.
We all need to not only think innovation, but more importantly to innovate our way of thinking. As Albert Einstein wisely said "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them".
Distinguished de legates Ladies and gentlemen,
The initiative of Digital Agenda for CPLP is a very commendable move.
I am here to express loudly and clearly my full support to the Digital Agenda for CPLP and to tell you that I will do everything possible to cooperate with ARCTEL in its implementation.
We worked together with ARCTEL on the Centre of Excellence, the study of universal service fund and other initiatives.
We are ready to continue this cooperation in the implementation of the Digital Agenda for CPLP.
You can count on me.
I Thank you