The 2018 Regional Development Forum for Arab States was held in Algiers Algeria, from 12 to 13 February under the theme "ICT④SDGs: Towards the implementation of WTDC17 outcomes".
The Forum was organized by ITU and hosted by the Ministry of Post, Telecommunications, Technologies and Digitalization (MPTTN) of Algeria.
This was the first Regional Development Forum after the successful conclusion of the World Telecommunication Development Forum (WTDC-17) held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At the Forum, participants discussed a four-year action plan to carry out activities associated with the Buenos Aires Action Plan and in particular the implementation of the five Arab Regional Initiatives for 2018-2021 as adopted by WTDC-17. The initiatives include; environment, climate change and emergency telecommunications; confidence and security in the use of ICTs; digital financial inclusion; Internet of Things, smart cities and big data; and Innovation and entrepreneurship.
"These initiatives were chosen by the membership of the Arab Region in order to facilitate the use of ICTs in the attainment of sustainable development"' said Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "I encourage you all to provide feedback to the proposed implementation plan. We need to collaborate together on all these issues to ensure the benefits of ICTs reach every single person in the Arab region."
Mr Fouad Belkassam Secretary General, Ministry of Post, Telecommunications, Technologies and Digitalization of Algeria said, "we have identified in our national ICT strategy key elements including establishment of a network of ICT centres and development of mobile applications in order to promote the rapid advancement of the digital economy in Algeria." He added, "Algeria looks forward to implementing the spirit of the Buenos Aires Declaration and to leverage the use of ICTs to attain sustainable development."
Also discussed at the Forum was how to strengthen synergies between the Regional Initiatives and the activities of ITU-D Study Groups, ITU Academy, ITU Centres of Excellence, Academia and membership.
Regional Development Forums (RDFs) provide an opportunity for high-level dialogue between the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), governments and regulators from ITU Member States and Sector Members.