Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

BDT Director's Speeches

World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium 2015
Hiroshima, Japan  30 November 2015

World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium 2015

Opening Ceremony

Monday 30 November 2015

Hiroshima, Japan

Opening Speech

Brahima Sanou


ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau

Your Excellency, Ms Sanae Takaichi, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication, Japan, 

Yasua Sakamoto San, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination, MIC Japan,

Kiyoshi Mori San, Director-General for International Affairs, Global ICT Strategy Bureau, MIC Japan and Chair of WTIS-15,

Honourable Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers

Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General

Secretary Generals of APT and ATU

Director-Generals, CEOs,

Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honour for me to welcome you to the 2015 World Telecommunication and ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS) here in Hiroshima.

I would like to add my voice to that of the Secretary General of ITU in thanking the Government of Japan for hosting this Symposium and for the kind and warm hospitality extended to all of us.

Japan is a showcase when it comes to information and communication technologies. ICTs have driven Japan's economic growth for the last few decades and Japan has become an important hub of ICT innovation, and a global ICT industry leader. It is therefore a particular honor to be welcomed here in Japan and to be able to leverage on the country's ICT expertise.

As the matter of fact, WTIS-15 will provide a number of special networking opportunities, particularly during the 'Meet the Industry' sessions, which will provide an excellent opportunity for the participants to meet and interact with Japanese business leaders.

Honorable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen

Better data means better policy making and better decision taking. This is why WTIS brings together policy makers, regulators, statisticians, private sector International Organizations and academia.

I take this opportunity to thank all the Member States, Sector Members, International Organizations, industry, and experts that support the work of ITU in this area.

In particular, I would like to highlight the important work carried out by our two statistical expert groups in terms of improving methodologies, defining new indicators and reviewing existing ones.

Indeed, the Expert Group on Telecommunication and ICT indicators (EGTI) and the Expert Group on ICT Household Indicators (EGH) have become the main technical forums worldwide to debate ICT statistics.

Among the key topics that this Symposium will address is the role of big data, Internet of Things and ICT innovation for sustainable development.

There is no doubt that big data can make a difference in the lives of many people. I am pleased to inform you that ITU has embarked on the use of big data to help fight epidemics, like Ebola.

I have launched a new project that uses big data to help humanitarian agencies track the outbreak of the disease while safeguarding individual privacy. This project is co-financed by ITU and the Government of Japan. Mme Minister, Thank you very much for your support.

Big data can help complement existing statistics and indicators while providing new insights into key development issues.

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen

This afternoon, we will launch the Measuring the Information Society Report 2015 known as MIS report. The MIS report has become one of the most authoritative sources for ICT data and for monitoring the development of the global information society.

We will also announce the results of the latest ICT Development Index, known as I.D.I.

The IDI is a key component of measuring the information society. However, I would like to highlight that the IDI is not about competition; the IDI is about benchmarking. The IDI is meant to help us achieve three main objectives.

First, The IDI is a powerful tool that each country can use to track its own progress of ICT development year after year through the prism of an international agreed methodology.

Second, the IDI allows each country to benchmark with countries of similar socio-economic and geographic conditions and identify areas of improvement.

Third, the IDI is a very good opportunity to learn from one another, share experiences in order to implement best practices.

We are constantly working on the improvement of the index. This is why I have requested an independent external assessment of the IDI methodology. The results of this assessment are published in the 2015 MIS report to be launched today and I am pleased to announce that they confirm the soundness of the IDI methodology and its indicators.

Honorable Minsters, Distinguished Delegates, ladies and gentlemen

Above all, as Director of BDT I see real human stories behind all these numbers and statistics. I see the stories of people whose lives have improved thanks to ICTs.

Let me conclude by inviting all of you to share your experiences, expertise, and ideas over the next three days.

Our mission is to bring the power of ICTs into the hands of ordinary people, wherever they live.

It is a noble mission. Let us not miss the opportunity.

I thank you.

Arigato Gozai mass