Toure Billed to Speak at Nigeria’s Investment Forum

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Emma Okonji

The former Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Mr. Hamadoun Toure, will be delivering the keynote paper at the Nigerian Investment Forum in ITU Telecom World 2016, holding in Bangkok, Thailand, from November 14 – 17, 2016.

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu is the chief host at the forum.
Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of Nigerian communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, have also been listed as panelists at the forum.

Announcing the investment forum in Abuja, the Director, Public Affairs, at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, listed other panelists to include, Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie, and Managing Director, MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke.
The forum will be moderated by consummate multi-sectoral team leader and Executive Vice Chairman of MessageWise Limited, Dr. Henry Nzekwu.

The theme for Nigeria’s participation this year is “Smart Communities: the key to a digital Nigeria”, which runs alongside the global theme “Collaborating in the Digital Economy”.
Apart from deliberating on and presenting the vast investment potentials in Nigeria’s fast growing ICT sector, the forum will create opportunity for industry stakeholders, financiers and entrepreneurs to share experiences and examine key development trends in technology, regulation, policy, business models, services and applications.

Toure, a founding Executive Director of SMART Africa Alliance, is a long standing champion of information and communications technology (ICT) as a driver of social and economic development.
Prior to his ascension to the post of Secretary General, Toure previously served as Director of ITU’s Telecommunications Development Bureau (BDT) from 1998 – 2006. As a director at that time, he placed considerable emphasis on implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), launching projects based on partnerships with international organisations, governments, the private sector and civil society.

Toure’s professional career started in his native land, Mali in 1979, building a solid career in the satellite industry, serving as Managing Engineer in Mali’s first International Earth Station.
El-Rufai is the Executive Governor of Kaduna State. Prior to his election in 2015, he had built a successful career in executive management within the public and private sectors.

He holds a first class degree in Quantity Surveying from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, a Law Degree from University of London and a Master’s Degree from Harvard University. He was once the Minister of Federal Capital Territory.

Prior to his appointment on August 4, 2015, as Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Danbatta served as a member of the Implementation Committee of the North West University, Kano and Acting Vice Chancellor of the Kano University of Science & Technology, Wudil. He has previously served as Vice President of Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), International Centre for Advanced Communications Studies, building expertise in key areas of ICT implementation, policy and regulation including strategies for ensuring Universal Access and Service to Telecommunications Services.

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.

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.

Belo-Osagie holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, a Law Degree from Cambridge University and M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.

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 Electronic & 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.