Former ITU Sec-Gen, Toure, to Keynote Nigerian Forum at ITU Telecom World in Bangkok
The immediate past Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure, will keynote the Nigerian investment forum at the forthcoming ITU Telecom World holding in November in Bangkok, Thailand. Toure who was ITU scribe at a time Nigeria was ranked the fastest growing telecom market in the world for five consecutive years understands the dynamics and growth of the nation’s telecom and therefore most suited to sell the nation’s telecom potential to the investing global community.
Toure would be joined, as panelists, by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Nasir el-Rufai, the Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria Hakeem Belo-Osagie and Funke Opeke, the CEO of MainOne while the Minister of Communications Barr Adebayo Shittu would play the role of host minister.
Dr Hamadoun Touré is the founding Executive Director of SMART Africa Alliance and immediate past Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
A long-standing champion of ICTs as a driver of social and economic development, Dr Touré previously served as Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) from 1998-2006. In this role he placed considerable emphasis on implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), launching projects based on partnerships with international organizations, governments, the private sector and civil society.
Dr Touré started his professional career in his native Mali in 1979. He built a solid career in the satellite industry, serving as managing engineer in Mali’s first International Earth Station. He joined Intelsat’s Assistance and Development Programme in 1985. He was appointed Intelsat’s Group Director for Africa and the Middle East in 1994, earning a reputation as an energetic leader through his commitment to various regional connectivity projects such as RASCOM. In 1996 he joined ICO Global Communications as African Regional General Manager, spearheading the companies’ activities across the African region.
He holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad, and a PhD from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow.
Barrister Adebayo Shittu (Honourable Minister for Communications Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria)
Barr. Shittu is the current Minister of Communications Technology in Nigeria. He is a legal practitioner, an author. Born in March 1953, Shittu began his career in 1979 – when he was elected as a member of the State House of Assembly in his home state, Oyo State, South-West Nigeria at the age of 26. In this role, he made valuable contributions on the floor of the House and gained an astute reputation as a lawmaker.
In his professional capacity, Barr. Shittu is a legal practitioner and an author of 13 books. He has served in several capacities in his home state at different times as Commissioner for Information and Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice. He holds a degree in Law from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.Mr. Shittu was appointed by the Federal Government of Nigeria to head the Ministry of Communications Technology in October 2015.
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta (PANELIST)
Prof. Danbatta is the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Prior to his appointment in August 2015, Prof. Danbatta served as a member of the Implementation Committee of the Northwest University Kano, and Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Kano University of Science & Technology, Wudil. He was the Vice President of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) International Centre for Advanced Communication Studies, building expertise in key areas of ICT implementation, policy and regulation including Strategies for ensuring Universal Access and Service to Telecommunications Services.
Prof Danbatta started his professional career as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering – Faculty of Technology, Bayero University Kano, where he taught courses in telecommunications engineering and electronics for 28 years and held academic positions of Dean of the Faculty and Head of Department at different times. He has to his credit more than 50 articles in journals, conference proceedings and technical reports. He is also the author of ‘Elements of Static Engineering Electromagnetics’.
Born in Danbatta Local Government Council of Kano State, Prof. Danbatta obtained his BEng and MSc degrees from the Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland and his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) UK.
His Excellency, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (PANELIST)
Nasir El-Rufai is the current Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Prior to being elected in May 2015, Nasir El-Rufai has built a successful career in executive management within the public and private sector.
He holds a first class degree in Quantity Surveying from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, a Law degree from the University of London and a Masters’ degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.
As Minister of Federal Capital Territory between 2003 and 2007, he oversaw the establishment of the Abuja Geographical Information System, making Abuja become the first municipality in Nigeria with a computerized land register and information system. Mr. El-Rufai’s professional experience has included setting up his engineering consultancy firm in Nigeria in 1982. In public service, he has managed the Federal Ministries of Commerce and Interior, worked as the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Secretary of the National Council of Privatization, and chaired several high-profile cabinet committees for various sectors including housing, power, and for public service reform.
Funke Opeke (PANELIST)
Ms Opeke is an experienced telecommunications executive, the founder of Main Street Technologies and Chief Executive Officer of MainOne – a leading provider of innovative telecom services and network solutions in West Africa.
Born and raised in Nigeria, she obtained her first degree in Electronics & Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 1981 before proceeding to New York for a Master’s degree at Columbia University. Following her graduation from Columbia, Ms. Opeke returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria Communications (MTN) – Nigeria’s largest mobile network operator – after a twenty-year career in the United States. Prior to her return, she was the Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division.
She joined MTN Nigeria as Chief Technical Officer, and also served as adviser to Transcorp and Chief Operating Officer of NITEL for a brief period before launching Main Street Technologies in 2007. The company went on to raise $240 Million to build the pioneer private submarine cable system in West Africa – MainOne Cable. The 7,000km cable runs from Portugal down to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria and is delivering wholesale broadband capacity across several countries in West Africa today. She is an Independent Non-Executive Director of Atlas Mara Limited.
Hakeem Belo-Osagie (PANELIST)
Mr. Belo-Osagie is the Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Nigeria’s fourth largest telecoms mobile network operator with over 18 million active subscribers. He is a business leader steering various successful corporate brands and investments in different sectors particularly the telecommunications, finance and energy sectors in Nigeria.
Mr. Belo-Osagie holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, a law degree from Cambridge University and an M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.
Mr. Belo-Osagie started his career as a Petroleum Economist and a Lawyer in the service of the Federal Government of Nigeria working in various capacities in the energy sector until 1986 when he resigned to set up CTIC, which became a leading energy consulting firm.
He is a former Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc one of the largest commercial banks in Nigeria; the founder and former Chairman of First Securities Discount House, Nigeria’s leading money markets and treasury bill trading financial services firm, in which the IFC is an equity investor. He has been appointed by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to chair the board of directors of the Abuja Investment Company. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Dr. Henry Nzekwu (MODERATOR)
Dr. Nzekwu is the founder and Executive Vice Chairman of MessageWise Limited – one of Nigeria’s leading Strategy and Communications Consultancy firms. He is an experienced thought leader, facilitator and trusted advisor to organisations in the public and private sectors.
Recognised as an astute strategist, Dr. Nzekwu has been an invaluable asset to many government policy committees, serving on mission-critical think-tanks charged with proffering solutions for socio-economic development in Nigeria and other African countries.
For over 30 years, Dr. Nzekwu has led multisectoral project teams to design and deliver world-class events and campaigns across the globe. As a seasoned, dynamic public speaker and moderator, he has anchored numerous high-level events for governments, multilateral agencies and clients in different industries including technology, financial services, media, etc.
A medical doctor by training, Dr. Nzekwu holds an MBBS from the University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria. He is also an alumnus of the Lagos Business School and past President of the LBS CEP-9 Alumni Association.
He is a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Advertisers Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), and Chartered Institute of Management and Marketing (CIMM) and serves on the board of several companies.