This year, ITU celebrates 150 years of connecting the world to the most advanced and innovative means of communication, from the days of the telegraph to the telephone, television, Internet and mobile broadband.
ITU Members have been marking this historic occasion, organizing events highlighting information and communication technologies (ICT) as drivers of innovation and sustainable development around the world.
ITU asked Mr. Bin Hammad, Chairperson of ITU’s 150th Anniversary Council Committee, how the United Arab Emirates, as one of three Gold Anniversary Partners, is celebrating #ITU150.
How is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrating ITU150?
The UAE joined ITU in 1972 after its independence on 2 December 1971, and has supported ITU’s activities ever since. Building on this commitment, the UAE is proud to be an ITU150 Gold Partner.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates has organized several activities to celebrate ITU’s 150th anniversary, collaborating with a number of stakeholders to mark this historic event.
The TRA has highlighted the long-standing cooperation with ITU through social media channels. During the Earth Hour celebrations, ITU’s 150th anniversary logo was displayed prominently on the buildings of TRA-UAE. Additionally, a special memento commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Union was placed outside the TRA office buildings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The UAE also participated in several activities for the 17 May ceremony held by ITU in Geneva. H.E. Mohammad Al Qamzi was an official speaker at the event, and the TRA Director General and staff created a special ‘Thank you ITU’ video message which was shown during the celebrations. A special memento was presented to the ITU Secretary-General in Geneva.
ITU is celebrating 150 years of innovation. What do you think the future of ICT innovation will look like?
In my opinion, the future of ICT innovation is a hyper-connected smart society where the Internet of Things, big data analytics, life-enhancing applications and Smart Services will be some of the key features and trends.
In your opinion, what is the greatest ICT innovation of the past 150 years?
I think that the Internet is one the greatest ICT innovations of the past 150 years. It is through the Internet, and primarily now broadband, that the dynamics of the ICT environment in particular, and society in general, have been revolutionized.
The United Arab Emirates joined ITU in 1972. Can you provide examples of collaboration with ITU that have advanced ICT development in UAE?
Since joining ITU in 1972, the UAE has been working with the Union on various projects and activities which have helped ICT Development not only across the UAE but throughout the region as well.
The projects have ranged from supporting ITU’s work to measuring the efficiency and sustainability of Dubai as a smart and sustainable city, to WSIS-related activities, especially the WSIS Forum and the WSIS Fund.
In order to assist ITU’s capacity building efforts, the UAE partnered with ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) to found the Multipurpose Community Telecentre (MCT) which is dedicated ICT-based literacy training for Arab women, and is currently working with BDT to set up a regional capacity building initiative.
The UAE is also involved in ITU’s work to engage youth participation, partnering with the Union for the Youth Forum in 2006 and 2012. The United Arab Emirates also sponsored ICT Discovery to promote knowledge-sharing in the ICT sector for a global audience.
Nasser Bin Hammad
Mr Bin Hammad is an experienced International Telecommunications Policy and Regulatory Affairs professional and Telecommunications Engineer, and has been actively participating in the activities of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the past 14 years.
He has been the Head of Delegation and Deputy Head of UAE delegation and official spokesperson of the UAE Administration at many Regional and International conferences, meetings, forum and meetings expressing and defending UAE positions and interests in Telecom sector, and was selected to be the chairperson of the council committee responsible for the 150th anniversary celebration of the ITU.