Dr Touré visits the BakuTel exhibition in the company of President Aliev and Minister Abbasov.
Dr Touré at the opening of the UNECE International Conference on Knowledge-based Development and Innovative Entrepreneurship.
23-24 November 2011, Azerbaijan
Highlights of Dr Hamadoun Touré’s recent visit to the Central Asian republic of Azerbaijan included top-level meetings with President H.E. Mr Ilham Aliev and H.E. Prof. Dr. Ali Abbasov, Minister of Communications and Information Technologies, where they discussed the country’s ICT development plans, particularly in the area of broadband deployment.
As one of the Commissioners on the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development, Dr Abbasov has been a long-standing champion of greater connectivity across the region to drive social and economic development. Azerbaijan’s President, for his part, has ambitious plans for ongoing development of the country’s own ICT market, which he says could, in time, replace oil and gas as the country’s leading business sector.
Dr Touré was also the proud recipient of an honorary doctorate from Azerbaijan Technical University, and gave a keynote speech at the opening of BakuTel 2011, the most important ICT trade show in the Caucasus and Caspian region, which this year welcomed 250 exhibiting companies from 29 countries.
While in Baku, Dr Touré also found time to give the keynote speech at the opening session of the UNECE International Conference on Knowledge-based Development and Innovative Entrepreneurship. He praised Azerbaijan’s efforts to take a lead in ICT development, which has seen the sector expand more than five-fold over the past eight years and taken mobile cellular penetration to over 100%. “Even more importantly,” said Dr Touré, “Azerbaijan has put broadband at the centre of its ICT development strategy, and has made very impressive steps indeed towards making it affordable for all.”
Speeches by ITU Secretary-General: