Mr Brahima Sanou was elected Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau by the Plenipotentiary Conference, 2010 in Guadalajara, Mexico. He took office on 1 January 2011.
As an advocate of new technologies Brahima Sanou’s 30 years of experience in the telecommunication/ICT sector stand him in good stead as a defender of innovative and novel ideas. As Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, Mr Sanou is the Patron of the ITU Young Innovators Competition since its inception in 2011.
A national of Burkina Faso Mr Sanou previously served the ITU, including 10 as Director of the ITU Regional Office for Africa, the largest region in terms of number of countries. Africa faces some of the greatest development challenges — it is home to 28 of the world’s 48 LDCs and operates in a multilingual environment (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese). During this period Mr Sanou contributed to the development of the African telecommunication/ICT sector by helping to establish national as well as regional policy and regulatory frameworks that fostered the exponential growth of mobile communications, among others. He also helped to establish regional associations of regulators to facilitate the harmonization of policies and regulations to foster the development of regional telecommunication and ICT markets. He supports African regulators in order to create a continental association of regulators; having succeeded already in establishing sub-regional chapters.
Mr Sanou has vast experience at the international level, having represented his country in the ITU Council for almost 10 years and having also represented a group of 15 African countries on the INTELSAT Board of Governors in the 1990s. At the national level, Mr Sanou has held senior positions in the telecommunication sector, and has been elevated to the rank of Knight of the National Order of Burkina Faso (Chevalier de l’Ordre National).
Before joining the ITU, Mr Sanou worked for 17 years for ONATEL, the state-owned telecommunications Company of Burkina Faso, where he held several high-level key positions.
A trained telecommunication engineer, he also holds a postgraduate diploma from the Centre of Financial, Economic and Banking Studies in Paris, which affords him the requisite capability and open vision to grasp the economic and financial aspects of telecommunication/ICT development problems. He is co-author of the first report on the impact of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) on the telecommunication sector in Africa. In recognition of his rich experience in the field, immersed in the daily concerns of the developing countries, he was awarded the prize of “Best Public/Private Manager” by Africa Telecom People in 2007. He is married with 3 children and is proficient in two official ITU languages: French and English