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23rd - 24th March 2021

Middle East and North Africa Telecommunications and Media Forum

Virtual Event, Telecommunications & Media Forum (TMF)

Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 1100 AST / 0900 CET / 1000 EET / 1200 GST
Duration: 3 hrs each day

Accelerating digital transformation in the Middle East & North Africa: building the regulatory/policy skillsets so that everyone benefits as we emerge from the pandemic

Regulators and industry shared their experiences, achievements and priorities, and discussed how their roles and policies are evolving in the face of digital transformation.

23rd March
Telecom futures – convergence in practice
Infrastructure and connectivity, spectrum allocation, data & cloud, IoT, cybersecurity, privacy and consumer protection

24th March
Content/audiovisual futures – convergence in practice
Digital television transition, linear to on-demand services, OTT regulation, tackling disinformation, preserving cultural diversity and media pluralism

 

 

Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 1100 AST / 0900 CET / 1000 EET / 1200 GST
Duration: 3 hrs each day

 

Registration is now open – please click on the link on the right to complete your registration.

Registration Fees for delegates

IIC MEMBERS – FREE

NON-MEMBERS – £125 GBP (inclusive of VAT)

If you feel the delegate fee may be a barrier to attending this event, please contact us at enquiries@iicom.org

Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 1100 AST / 0900 CET / 1000 EET / 1200 GST
Duration: 3 hrs each day

Accelerating digital transformation in the Middle East & North Africa: building the regulatory/policy skillsets so that everyone benefits as we emerge from the pandemic

Registration is now open – please click on the link on the right to complete your registration.

Registration Fees for delegates

IIC MEMBERS – FREE

NON-MEMBERS – £125 GBP (inclusive of VAT)

If you feel the delegate fee may be a barrier to attending this event, please contact us at enquiries@iicom.org.

Please login to your account in order to view this content.

Report

Report of the Middle East and North Africa Telecommunications and Media Forum which took place on place on 23 - 24 March 2021

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Speakers

Ali Cheema Head of Government & Industry Relations, Middle East & Africa, Ericsson

Ali Cheema is the Regional Lead for Government and Industry relations at Ericsson in the Middle East and North Africa. He is tasked with the coordination of ICT policy engagements and advocacy for spectrum harmonization across the region.

With over a decade of experience working with radio access networks across Middle East and Africa, Mr Cheema brings to the table not only technical expertise, but also a deep understanding of the regional context. This is coupled with a strong belief that mobile broadband can play a catalytic role for socio-economic progress in developing economies.

Aynon Doyle Head of Policy Analysis and Research (Regulatory Affairs), Multichoice SA

Aynon Doyle is Head of Policy Analysis and Research, in the Regulatory Affairs department at MultiChoice South Africa and has been with the group since May 2006. He has provided regulatory support in due diligence processes in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America, as part of the MIH Group. Mr Doyle’s main focus area currently is providing input and expert advice to government policy development processes and the Digital Broadcasting Switchover. In South Africa, he was the chairperson for the Policy Working Committee of the Digital Broadcasting Migration Working Group, established by the Minister of Communications to make recommendations on a digital broadcasting switchover strategy. Mr Doyle currently chairs the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Commercial Rules of Operation Joint Committee established by the national terrestrial broadcasters (SABC, etv, and M-Net) to draft a South African operations manual for the commercial roll-out of DTT in South Africa and is a member of the sector regulators’ Joint Spectrum Advisory Group (JSAG).

Mr Doyle’s career has spanned a wide spectrum of industries with a specific focus on policy development and analysis since 1994. In that period he has worked for the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) where he was responsible for overseeing the development of policy and regulations for the broadcasting sector in South Africa. He also worked for the South African National Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) where he engaged in the areas of intellectual property, consumer protection, competition and the development of national standards; the Consumer Institute South Africa (CISA) as a researcher in the area of consumer protection policy; and the University of Port Elizabeth where he was a lecturer in the Political Studies department.

Mr Doyle completed his graduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Port Elizabeth (now known as the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University). He currently holds a Masters degree (MA) in Political Studies and is a member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).

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.

Brahim Ghribi (Dr) Head of Government & Policy Affairs Middle East & Africa, Nokia

Dr Brahim Ghribi has more than 25 years of international work experience and broad multi-disciplinary competencies combining engineering and state of the art technological research, managerial, and business driven responsibilities in North America, Europe, and Africa-Middle-East. He has spent the past 8 years developing and implementing regional government affairs, policy and regulatory strategies in the Africa Middle-East for Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia.

Prior to his government relations and policy affairs roles, he held various international roles including regional director of strategic marketing, global head of Broadband wireless Integration practice, senior technology architect, and lead expert in the ITU 3GPP standardization working groups, were he contributed to shape some of the key telecommunications standards.

A computer scientist by training with a Bachelor and a Master’s degrees from Ottawa University in Canada, Dr Brahim Ghribi is also the holder of a Doctorate Degree of Business Administration from the Paris School of Business.

Elena Scaramuzzi Head of Global Research, Cullen International

Elena Scaramuzzi leads regulatory services and research activities with a global reach.  At Cullen International since 2009, Ms Scaramuzzi co-designed, and is now leading the launch in early 2020 of the new Global Trends service.  Prior to this, Ms Scaramuzzi has led and contributed to new service developments serving clients in the Americas and Europe.  With over 25 years’ work experience in the sector, before joining Cullen International Ms Scaramuzzi worked for Telecom Italia and the World Bank.

Fadel Digham (Dr) Head of National Projects Sector, National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Egypt

Dr Fadel Digham  is Head of National Projects Sector, National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA)

He is also Chairman of the “Smart Cities and Communities” Group- International Telecommunications Union, Development Sector (ITU-D).

Dr Digham’s field of expertise is smart cities, infrastructure development, wireless telecom systems, digital switchover and broadcasting.

Dr Digham participated in the planning and development of the smart cities system in Egypt, and the issuance of codes for networks design and implementation and provision of smart services.

Dr Fadel has had, throughout his career, made many participations and contributions in the national projects and initiatives, such as: 4G services provision and studies on digital switchover, enabling the Egyptian companies to transform the technological zone in Borg Al-Arab to a smart community, training and qualifying 1500 youths to implement a set of applied research projects in various sectors.

Iman El Banna Kaiss Senior Legal Counsel, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Avaya

Iman El Banna Kaissis a bi-lingual lawyer, based in Dubai since 2008, with experience in UK law firms and in-house senior roles for multi-national companies.

Ms El Banna Kaiss has extensive experience in UAE and GCC local regulations, corporate governance, compliance, employment matters, data privacy and telecommunication regulations.

Ms El Banna Kaiss currently heads the legal department for Avaya in Middle East Africa and Turkey, providing the business with the required legal support in this emerging field. She is also the contract negotiator responsible for the closure of Avaya’s multimillion deals in MEAT.

Jean-Pierre Scerri (Dr) Acting Director of Legal Affairs, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Bahrain

Dr Jean Pierre Scerri is a UK qualified lawyer originating from Malta. He has more than 20 years’ experience in technology, media, IT and telecoms sector having worked in private practice and in-house in cable, PSTN and mobile as well as for the regulator across a number of jurisdictions including the UK, Central Europe and the Middle East. He has been working in the region for more than 8 years at TRA Bahrain where he has been responsible for a number of strategically important initiatives including the legal separation of the incumbent, the National Broadband Network project, review of the Licensing Regime and the rewrite of the Telecommunications Law.

Kamal Shehadi Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Etisalat Group

Dr Kamal S Shehadi is Etisalat International’s Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer and the Chairman of Atlantique Telecom Group. Dr Shehadi leads Etisalat’s legal, policy, and regulatory work internationally. Dr Shehadi chaired GSMA’s Chief Policy and Regulatory Officers’ Group from 2014 to 2016.

Prior to joining Etisalat Group, from 2007 to 2010, Dr Shehadi was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Republic of Lebanon. He chaired the ITU’s Global Industry Leaders’ Forum and the Global Symposium for Regulators in 2009.

DR Shehadi was Managing Director of Connexus Consulting (2000-2007), which he established as the leading consultancy in the Middle East and North Africa in telecom policy and regulation. He has published widely on private participation in infrastructure, telecommunications liberalization and regulation, public finance, Euro-Mediterranean economic relations, and other public policy issues.

Dr Shehadi has a B.A. with honors (A.B. cum laude) from Harvard University in economics and a PhD from Columbia University in international political economy and has been awarded a number of distinctions for his academic achievements.

Karima Mahmoudi Central Director of the Electronic Communications Market Observatory, Instance Nationale des Telecommunications (INT), Tunisia

Karima Mahmoudi has worked within the national telecommunications authority since November 2004. She currently holds the position of Central Director of the Electronic Communications Market Observatory. She has previously held the positions of Director of Competition, head of the competition department and head of service in charge of retail offers.

Miss Mahmoudi is responsible within the INTT for the observatory of the electronic communications markets and the market analysis study.

Miss Mahmoudi is also a member of several strategic studies: transition from IPV4 to IPV6, study of opportunities for the introduction of 5G in Tunisia.

Miss Mahmoudi is also Vice-Chairman of Study Group 3 within the International Telecommunication Union “Pricing and accounting principles and economic and political issues in telecommunications / international ICT”.

Miss Mahmoudi has participated as a speaker in several conferences and forums, such as: the ITU Regional Standardization Forum, TAIEX with the European Commission, Meeting of ITU statistical expert groups, Symposium on telecommunications / ICT indicators worldwide, UNESCO-IGFmeeting on ROMAX.

Latifa Akharbach President, Haute Autorité de la Communication Audiovisuelle (HACA), Morocco

Latifa Akharbach was appointed President of the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) on December 3, 2018.

Ms Akharbach formerly held numerous decision-making positions in Moroccan diplomacy : Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Tunisia and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Ms Akharbach has also served as Director of the Moroccan National Radio and Director of the High Institute of Information and Communication where she had previously been Professor and researcher for more than twenty years.

She is an experienced international consultant in the field of journalism, communication and journalists training. She has published several articles, studies and books on media, communication and women’s rights.

Ms Akharbach has a PhD in Information Sciences and Communication.

Mohammed Alabdulqader General Manager, Radio Spectrum Monitoring, Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Alabdulqader is experience in Spectrum Management with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry.   He is skilled in telecom regulations, Spectrum Management, LTE, Radio Frequency (RF), FM Radio, and Wireless Broadband.

Mr Alabdulqader has a Master of Science – MSc focused in Communications Engineering from King Saud University.

Nouri Lajmi President, High Independent Communication Authority (HAICA), Tunisia

Nouri Lajmi is the President of the High Independent Communication Authority (HAICA) of Tunisia since 2013. Doctor in information sciences, he taught journalism at the Press and Information Sciences Institute at Manouba University in Tunis before leaving for Canada. He lived in the province of Quebec for more than ten years, where he collaborated with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Center for Research in Public Law of the University of Montreal (CRDP) and with the Department of information and communication from Laval University in Quebec. Mr Laimi is the author of several scientific texts and studies on journalism, media regulation and journalistic ethics.

Pascal Dutru (Dr) Legal Unit Manager, Communications Regulatory Authority Qatar (CRA)

After 15 years shaping and implementing the European regulatory framework for electronic communications, Dr Pascal Dutru moved to the Middle East in 2012. There, he played an instrumental role in establishing Qatar Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), the independent authority in charge of ICT and postal services, holding various senior manager positions ranging from strategy, policy, planning and legal. In that capacity, he has ensured that the regulator enables the ICT sector as a whole and supports digital transformation and digital inclusion. Amongst a wide span of achievements, he has defined regulatory strategies and reviewed practices, adopting a forward-looking perspective. He has also developed specific regulatory frameworks for competition, access, quality of service and reviewed core regulatory policies and instruments related to spectrum, numbering and addressing. His actions support Qatar transforming into a connected nation, with very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband available everywhere (full fiber and 4G+ network coverage, large 5G roll out). He has also supported Qatar in signing and implementing ambitious strategic partnerships with large Cloud service providers, developed the national Cloud Policy and related instruments, and contributed to significant digital transformation projects.

Dr Dutru brings with him over 25 years of experience in the communications industry, with an in-depth understanding of markets at all stages of competition and the deployment of proactive strategies tailored to foster growth.

In Europe, he was General Counsel of Clear Channel (Europe), a worldwide external communication group, and of Alten SA, a listed IT services company. Prior to that, he was Deputy General Counsel in charge of the regulatory and competition division of Bouygues Telecom, a French fixed and mobile telecom service provider. As part of his duties, he helped the company branch into new markets, oversaw strategic contract negotiations with French and Foreign service providers, handled complex litigations and was deeply involved in the regulatory field in France and in Europe.

His earlier professional experience includes working as an attorney at law with Thieffry & Associes, and Bigle, Carbonnier, Lamaze & Rasle, amongst other distinguished organizations.

Dr Dutru is an Attorney at Law (Paris) and often conducts lectures in telecom law and electronic commerce, regularly speaks at high profile international conferences and is an officer of the international Bar association (IBA – Communications Committee).

Dr Dutru has a PhD in Law and an LLM in European Law from the College of Europe (Bruges). He also graduated from ESSEC in Finance and Control.

Taha Yücel Member, Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), Turkey

Taha Yücel was elected as a member of Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) by the Turkish Parliament on 13 July 2005. On 13 July 2011, he was re-elected by the Parliament after receiving 460 affirmative votes. For a two-year period, he served as Deputy Chairman of RTUK. While he was serving as Vice Chairman of ASELSAN and as Head of UGES Sector, on 16.10.2017, he was elected for the third time as a member of RTUK by the Turkish Parliament.

Mr  Yücel previously worked for RTUK as a Technical Inspection Expert until 1998. During this period, He worked in the Frequency Planning and Allocation Commissions and in the Commission for the Preparation of Radio, Television Standards which work under the umbrella of Turkish Standards Institution. Between 1998 and 2005, he worked in private sector as a senior executive. Inside and outside Turkey, he gave seminars on broadcasting technologies, digital terrestrial broadcasting, radio and TV regulations, IPTV, Mobil TV, etc.  He was the Chairman of the Technical Commission of the Association of Television Broadcasters until 2005.

Mr Yücel graduated with high honour from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Bilkent University in 1993. In 1996, he acquired his MSc EEE Degree from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Boğaziçi University by his thesis on the digital terrestrial broadcasting planning. In 1998, as the highest ranked student of the program, he also acquired MBA Degree from the Business Administration Department at Başkent University.

Zeina Mokaddem Vice President, Regulatory and Market Access, Inmarsat

Zeina Mokaddem has successfully championed and introduced a number of pioneering communication technologies globally and in the Middle East and North Africa in particular. Prior to Inmarsat, Ms Mokaddem worked as a consultant for a number of international communication players assisting them in opening new markets and shaping favourable regulatory frameworks in different jurisdictions.
Zeina is currently co-chair for ITU’s Network of Women NOW-WRC23 for the Arab region.

Ms Mokaddem has an MSc in Engineering Management from the American University of Beirut.

Moderators

Andrea Millwood Hargrave Principal, Millwood Hargrave Ltd

Andrea Gita Millwood Hargrave is an independent consultant, with a keen interest in policy making and its consequences, in the converging communications environment.

Most recently the IIC’s Director of Regulatory Fora, Andrea was the IIC’s Director General from February 2009-March 2020. Andrea has published widely on media policy in an international context and has a keen interest in communications and digital literacy. An Associate of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, University of Oxford, and serving as an Expert with the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS), she has acted as an Expert for both the European Union and the Council of Europe, as well as working in an advisory capacity for a number of international organisations. She served as a regulator for content delivery organisations in the UK for many years.

Francesco Liberatore Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP; Former Chair, IIC Brussels Chapter

Francesco Liberatore advises clients on all aspects of the application of communications and competition law.

On the behavioural side, Mr Liberatore’s practice includes bringing and defending all types of regulatory and competition disputes before Ofcom, the Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission, as well as managing internal investigations, dawn raids, and counselling on compliance issues and various commercial agreements. On the transactional side, Mr Liberatore handles UK and EU merger control due diligence and filings, as well as coordinating multijurisdictional merger control strategies. He also advises private equity investors, banks, and other financial investors on arbitrage opportunities.

Mr Liberatore’s litigation experience includes representing clients in matters before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the High Court of Justice and the European Courts.

He has authored several legal publications, including the UK Chapter of the International Telecommunications Law handbook (Juris Publishing).

Mr Liberatore has been listed as a leading practitioner in Chambers UK, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 UK and Who’s Who Legal. He is a guest lecturer at King’s College London and a member of Justice.

James Bellis Director, Telecommunications Practice, Frontier Economics

James Bellis, a Director in the Telecommunications Practice of Frontier Economics, has over 16 years’ experience advising world leading operators, regulators and policy makers across the globe. Much of his work focuses on market liberalisation, competition assessments, retail and wholesale pricing, cost accounting, spectrum pricing and policy, universal service and policies to promote high speed broadband services.

Mr Bellis leads much of Frontier’s telecommunications work outside Europe, focusing on Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean and he has managed a number of complex assignments working with other experts and client teams.

Tuesday 23 March 2021

0900 CET / 1000 EET / 1100 AST / 1200 GST Session 1: Telecom futures – convergence in practice

Regulators and industry share their experiences, achievements and priorities, and discuss how their roles and policies are evolving in the face of digital transformation.

Discussion themes will include
• Evolution of communications infrastructure to maximise resilience, flexibility and inclusion
• Spectrum availability/licensing; infrastructure sharing; mobile vs fibre; 4G vs 5G; role of satellites
• International connectivity – priorities and bottlenecks
• Transitioning to digital services – IoT, data sovereignty, cloud policy frameworks
• Consumer protection, privacy, cybersecurity and trust – what role for comms regulators?

 

Regulators Panel

Moderator
Francesco Liberatore, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP; Former Chair, IIC Brussels Chapter

Panellists include
Pascal Dutru, Legal Unit Manager, Communications regulatory Authority (CRA), Qatar
Karima Mahmoudi, Central Director of the Electronic Communications Market Observatory, Instance Nationale des Telecommunications (INT), Tunisia
Mohammed Alabdulqader, General Manager, Radio Spectrum Monitoring, Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), Saudi Arabia
Dr Fadel Digham, Head of National Projects Sector, National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Egypt
Dr Jean Pierre Scerri, Acting Director of Legal Affairs, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Bahrain

1030 CET / 1130 EET / 1230 AST / 1330 GST Session 2: Telecom futures – convergence in practice

Industry Responses

Moderator:
James Bellis, Director, Telecommunications Practice, Frontier Economics

Panellists
Kamal Shehadi, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Etisalat Group
Zeina Mokaddem, Vice President, Regulatory and Market Access, Inmarsat
Iman El Banna Kaiss, Senior Legal Counsel, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Avaya
Dr Bharat Kumar Khimji Vagadia, Senior Director – Regulatory Affairs, Ooredoo Group
Dr Brahim Ghribi, Head of Government & Policy Affairs Middle East & Africa, Nokia
Ali Cheema, Head of Government & Industry Relations, Middle East & Africa, Ericsson

 

Wednesday 24 March 2021

0900 CET / 1000 EET / 1100 AST / 1200 GST Session 3: Content/audiovisual futures – convergence in practice

Regulators and industry share their experiences, achievements and priorities, and discuss how their roles and policies are evolving in the face of digital transformation.

Discussion themes will include
• Digital television transition, next generation infrastructure
• Transitioning to digital, on-demand services – levelling the playing field, OTT platform regulation, tackling disinformation
• Supporting the creative economy, preserving cultural diversity and safeguarding media pluralism
• Closing the digital divide – digital literacy & inclusion

 

Moderator
Andrea Millwood Hargrave, Principal, Millwood Hargrave Ltd

Panellists include
Latifa Akharbach, President, Haute Autorité de la Communication Audiovisuelle (HACA), Morocco
Nouri Lajmi, President, High Independent Communication Authority (HAICA), Tunisia
Taha Yücel, Member, Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), Turkey
Elena Scaramuzzi, Global Head of Research, Cullen International
Aynon Doyle, Head of Policy Analysis and Research (Regulatory Affairs), Multichoice SA

Download the agenda (PDF)
Event details
Date:
23rd - 24th March 2021
Location:
Online
Region:
Middle East & Africa

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