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23rd April 2024

IIC MENA Chapter meeting – Towards a Digital Economy – in person

Chapter event

Date: Tuesday 23 April 2024
Time: 08:30 – 16:00 AST

Kindly hosted by

Following a successful MENA Chapter meeting in Morocco, the IIC MENA Chapter will be returning to the Gulf where we will be kindly hosted by TRA Bahrain, on Tuesday 23 April.

The Gulf is a leader in many aspects of both the digital and telecommunications ecosystem and this one-day meeting will enable the opportunity to discuss some of the most challenging issues the industry is currently facing in the region.

Discussions will focus on searching for a model for regulating AI and what the NIS2 Directive takeaways will be for Cybersecurity in the region. Other topics which will encourage discussion include a framework for IoT regulation, Data Privacy developments in the region and protecting the vulnerable through Online Safety measures.

Registration Fees for delegates

Tuesday 23 April 2024
IIC MENA Chapter meeting

IIC Members – Free
Non-Members – £67 GBP (excluding VAT*) 
*VAT will be applicable for UK registrations only

If you feel the delegate fee may be a barrier to attending this event, please contact us at

The IIC will be pleased to provide a letter of invitation on request, but visas will be the responsibility of the event attendee.


The Chapter event venue is also offering a special hotel room rate:

Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain
143 Road 2403
Muharraq Town

Please see here for the hotel website

Single Room:
Double Room:

To book please click below:

Please quote the reference Code: /////////////   when making your room booking to secure the special room rate.

The IIC accepts no responsibility for bookings made at any hotels which are listed and recommends that you check out the hotels on the internet before booking.

Welcome address

Philip Marnick General Director, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Bahrain; Director, International Institute of Communications

Philip Marnick is the General Director of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). He was appointed early January 2022 by the Members of the Board, to assume the position, paving the way for a more effective regulatory framework by continuing the evolution of the telecom sector liberalization.

Mr Marnick leads the TRA, including the development of consumer protection initiatives and resolving disputes. The TRA develops regulatory rules that promote competition, innovation, and investment in broadband services and facilities, as well as developing a more comprehensive and competitive framework that aligns with international best practices. Ensuring that Bahrain remains a center of innovation and that its telecommunications sector serves everyone while supporting Bahrain’s strategic objectives.

Before assuming his role at the TRA, Mr Marnick managed and directed at Ofcom in the UK, where he was the Group Director of Spectrum responsible for all aspects of UK national and international spectrum management – from strategy to delivery including awards, clearance and enforcement. Mr Marnick has worked in the telecommunications sector for over 30 years. He has served as a senior executive in technology, operations, and strategy. Mr Marnick has worked in both start-ups (from inception to sale) and major corporations, in firms such as UK Broadband, O2, Orange, BT, J-Phone in Japan (now Softbank Mobile), Extreme Mobile, and SpinVox (now Nuance).

From analogue to 5G, he has engaged across every mobile generation. Throughout his carrier he has been at the forefront of industry developments – in both fixed and mobile. He has collaborated on the first deployments of mobile networks utilizing new technologies and standards, this has also included innovative products such as the first camera phone and photo messaging service, as well as mobile internet and hosted voice services.


Bharat Vagadia (Dr) Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, Ooredoo Group

Dr Bharat Vagadia joined Ooredoo Group in 2017 as senior director regulatory affairs with oversight across the ten operations across MENA and South Asia. Prior to joining the group, he was with Ooredoo Qatar. He brings with him over twenty-five years’ experience in TMT policy, regulation and strategy and wealth of experience as a management consultant, having advised over fifty clients in over twenty-five countries, across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including governments, regulatory authorities, multinationals, high growth start-ups, as well as investment funds. He has during his career, helped with sector liberalization, creation of licensing frameworks and the broader development of regulatory environments that foster competition and long-term consumer welfare.

Dr Vagadia is the author of four books, the latest being Digital Disruption.

Dr Vagadia holds a PhD, MBA, LLM, B-Eng, DipM. He sits on the board of Ooredoo Myanmar, is chair of GSMA AsiaPac policy group and member of the MENA policy group.

Lynn Robinson Director General, International Institute of Communications

Lynn Robinson became Director General of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), in March 2020.

Lynn is an experienced senior director and trustee / non exec-director, having held key senior leadership positions in the technology, built environment, regulation, accreditation and dental industries. She has extensive experience of professional membership bodies working within the full spectrum including, Regulatory bodies, Industry associations and Chambers of Commerce. Lynn is a well-known and established ambassador in these areas having led on many strategic programmes to aid engagement, growth, retention, change management, stakeholder and political engagement.

An experienced Trustee / Non-Executive Director as Vice Chair at Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust, a unique heritage site in the heart of Bristol (UK), Lynn is also a Trustee / Non-Executive Director at The Bristol and Bath (UK), Parks Foundation.

Reflecting on becoming Director General at the IIC at the outbreak of a pandemic, Lynn said, ‘these last two years have been like no other we have known, with many challenges coming our way. In 2020 we successfully pivoted the organisation through a digital transformation programme to maintain a full schedule of events and by increasing the outputs delivered. Transforming the programme enabled us to continue to deliver the professional service and increase our engagement with IIC members and stakeholder community to remain connected to them through such a difficult time.

As we move through 2022, I am delighted to return to a combined in-person and online programme and to continue to evolve the IIC in to the next phase, with the vision and strategic focus to deliver our objectives and to build on our growth, engagement and retention’.


Tuesday 23 April 2024

08:30-08:40 Welcome Remarks

Philip Marnick, General Director, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Bahrain; Director, IIC


08:40-08:50 About the IIC

Lynn Robinson, IIC Director General

08:50-09:00 Aims for the day

Bharat Vagadia, Chair, IIC MENA Chapter

09:00-09:45 Panel: AI and the Regulatory Paradigm




09:45-10:30 Panel: Towards a Digital Economy
10:30-11:00 Refreshments & Networking
11:00-11:45 Presentation & Panel: Online Safety: protecting society



11:45-12:30 Panel: Data Privacy in the Always-on World
12:30-13:15 Panel: Cybersecurity: Keeping us safe in an ever-changing world
13:15-14:15 Networking Lunch
14:15-15:00 Presentation & Panel: IoT is new regulation required?
15:00-15:45 Presentation & Panel: Satellites: do we need a new regulatory regime?
15:45-16:00 Wrap Up and Next Steps

Bharat Vagadia, Chair, IIC MENA Chapter

Download the agenda (PDF)
Event details
23rd April 2024
Manama, Bahrain
Middle East & Africa
Middle East & North Africa
Login to register your place
Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain
143 Road 2403
Muharraq Town

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