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BDT Director's Biography

Mr Brahima Sanou has been Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) since January 2011, following his election at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010.

Mr Sanou was re-elected, on 24 October 2014, to a second four-year term.

 As BDT Director, Mr Sanou is committed to promoting ICT as a major driving force for sustainable socio-economic development, bringing the unprecedented benefits of next-generation networks and services to remote and rural regions, least developed countries and persons with special needs in particular.

He places particular emphasis on the mobilization of resources and knowledge-sharing through the forging of collaborative, cross-sector multi-stakeholder partnerships. Key elements include the m-Powering Development Initiative to deliver improved services such as healthcare, education and business over mobile platforms; the Smart Sustainable Development Model initiative, focused on optimizing resources for sustainable development and disaster management; and the ITU Academy, offering an integrated online resource for the provision of ICT education and training opportunities.

Mr Sanou draws on over thirty years of experience in the ICT sector at regional and international level. As Head of 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 worked to foster the growth of mobile telecommunications across the continent through the establishment of policy and regulatory frameworks nationally and regionally. In his role as coordinator of the African regional project on telecommunications reform and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) from 1997 - 2000, he drew attention to the need for human resource development and capacity building in Africa.

He began his professional career in his native Burkina Faso, where he held several high-level positions in the Posts and Telecommunications services, and was instrumental in the separation of the services and the liberalization of the national telecommunication sector.

In November 2017, Mr Brahima Sanou received the prestigious “African Leader of the Year Award" in recognition of his outstanding contribution to development. The African Leadership Awards reward and celebrate African decision-makers who have distinguished themselves on the continent and internationally and who represent a source of pride for Africa.

Mr Sanou holds a degree in Engineering from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications of Paris (ENST), and a post-graduate diploma from the Centre for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies. Fluent in French and English, he is married with three children.