Meetings Archive

Telecom Leaders' Summit 2016


The business of digital development, with its myriad of private-sector and public-sector stakeholders and complexities across all dimensions, now demands an unprecedented level of co-operation and and sector-wide understanding of stakeholder priorities. Without understanding such priorities and issues, which could only be addressed through cross-stakeholder dialogue, it is no longer feasible to achieve progress, save time, realize operational efficiencies, meet national as well as international obligations, and ensure a viable and sustainable future for both business and socio-economic well-being, purely based on individualized priorities and values. Collective and all-inclusive participation across the decision-making spectrum has now become critical.

It is the primary objective of SAMENA Council’s Telecom Leaders’ Summit to facilitate and drive such cross-stakeholder participation and open communication by bringing together business decision-makers, investors, policy and regulatory authorities, and global institution-level leadership, in order to open new avenues of progressive thinking and future planning for the benefit of both the telecoms and ICT industry and the ultimate stakeholders – the citizens, the consumers. Creating linkages between stakeholder priorities and improving stakeholder relationships are daunting tasks. However, SAMENA Council is well-equipped to execute such tasks and the Leaders’ Summit is a means to achieving progress toward this effect. This year’s Leaders Summit will delve into the following areas of discussion and efforts will be exerted to advance significant post-gathering cooperative undertakings, bearing long-term positive impact for the telecom industry of the SAMENA region and beyond.

Dr. Khaled Biyari

Group Chief Executive Officer,

Saudi Telecom Company

Dr. Khaled H. Biyari serves as Group CEO of STC effective 27 April 2015. Dr. Biyari serves currently as the Senior Vice President for Technology and Operations at STC. He is also the Chairman of STC Advanced Solutions, Vice Chairman of STC VIVA Kuwait, Vice Chairman of OTL, and a Board member of both Turk Telecom and Avea. Prior to joining STC, he served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager at Advanced Electronics Company (AEC). From 1990 until 1995, Dr. Biyari was a Professor of Communication Systems at the Electrical Engineering Department at King Fahad University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM).

Professionally, Dr. Biyari is an active member of a number of professional organizations and has lectured and published papers on Communication and Information systems. He has also lectured on numerous occasions on Technology Management, Innovation, as well as ICT industry-related issues. He was twice-elected Chairman of the IEEE Saudi Section.

Dr. Biyari also served as a member of the Committee responsible for developing the Long Term National Plan for Electronics Industry in the Kingdom. He was also a member of KFUPM Executive Committee responsible for KFUPM’s long-term strategic plan. In 2009, he was elected by the Council of Ministers to the BoD of the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA) in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Biyari obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA in 1990 and his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from KFUPM in 1983 and 1985, respectively.

Mr. Bocar A. BA

Chief Executive Officer,

SAMENA Telecommunication Council

A noted management and technology consultant, Bocar A. BA is the CEO of SAMENA Telecommunications Council, and is responsible for leading the management of all the Council's meetings and continuing its research efforts and intellectual property of all telecom institutions in South Asia, Middle East and North Africa Region with collective efforts from all members and committees, helping member operators address issues and take advantage of opportunities in the telecommunications industry in the region.

Specifically, Bocar is in-charge of driving awareness of the Council and promoting it throughout the telecommunications industry, thereby directing membership development. His role also includes identifying member operator issues and lobbying with policy makers to influence policies at the regional level; ensuring all SAMENA Council Committees are fulfilling their objectives and agendas; and overseeing the marketing plans and initiatives on account of being a member of the Strategy and Marketing Committee.

Bocar also serves as a director and board member of several companies in Technology and Management & Consultancy Services and is driving the awareness of the value of technology in everyday life across the region.

Mr. Charles Yang

President, Middle East Region

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Mr. Charles Yang is currently the President of the Middle East Region in Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

In this role, Mr. Yang oversees all Huawei group activities and around 5,000 employees. As the regional President, he is also responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, guiding its strategic direction and leading its business development and customers’ relations to drive wider adoption of the Huawei’s technology innovations.

Mr. Yang has over 16 years of experience in the telecom industry. In this time, he held a number of senior positions in the company, most notably as president of Huawei’s STC Group account and CEO for Huawei in China.

Over the last 3 years, he has been active in Saudi Arabia, supporting the development of the telecom industry there.

Mr. Yang graduated from Chongqing University in Posts and Telecommunications in China.

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Our aim is to enrich life and improve efficiency through a better connected world, acting as a responsible corporate citizen, innovative enabler for the information society, and collaborative contributor to the industry. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei’s 170,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

Telecom Leaders' Summit 2016

Morning Activities

9:00am – 10:00 am: Welcome Coffee

10:00 am – 11:00 pm: ITU/Operators Meeting

11:30 am – 12:30 pm: SALT Meeting

12:30 – 13:30: BOD Meeting

13:30 – 14:30: MOU Signing Program

15:00 – 16:00: Opening ceremony

16:00 – 17:00: Panel 1

17:00 – 17:15: Group Picture with HH Sheikh Nahyan Bin Moubarak

17:30 – 18:30: Panel 2

8:30 am – 9:00 am: Welcome Coffee

9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Huawei sessions 1 & 2

  • Experience – Driving Ultra Broadband Network
  • Open ROADS to digital operation

11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Press Conference

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Huawei Lunch break

Opening Session

3:00 – 3:05 Welcome Note

Mr. Bocar BA
SAMENA Telecommunications Council

3:05 – 3:15 pm Welcome Speech

Dr. Khalid Biyari
STC Group

SAMENA Council’s Board of Directors

3:15 – 3:30 pm Honorable Guest

H.E. Holin Zhao
Secretary General,

3:30 – 3:40 pm Announcement Speech

H.E. Hamad Al Mansoori

3:40 – 3:50 pm Opening Speech

Mr. Ding Shaohua
Senior VP,

3:50 – 4:00 pm Setting the Scene

Mr. Kevin Kelly

SAMENA Council 10 Years Anniversary & Gala Dinner

6:45 pm – 7:30 pm: Cocktail Reception

7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

  • Recognitions Ceremony
  • 10 Years Anniversary
  • Gala Dinner
Mr.Ding Shaohua

Senior VP

Building a Better connected world together
Mr. Lin Yanqing

Marketing Middle East

SAMENA GCI Introduction

PANEL 1: Necessities of the evolving market and relevant legislation and regulation


Bahjat Al Dawiche



H.E. Houlin Zhao

Secretary General

Dr. Khaled Biyari

Group CEO

Dr. Mohammed Al Amer

TRA Bahrain

Mr. Khalifa Al Shamsi

Chief Strategy & Corporate Governance Officer
Etisalat Group

Mr. Jawad Abbassi

Head of MENA

Dr. Georg Serentschy


PANEL 2: Viable areas of investment and stakeholder partnership


Karim Taga

Arthur D. Little

Mr. Peter Sany

TM Forum


Mr. Hakam Kanafani

Chief Advisor & Board Member
Turk Telekom

Mr. Scott Gegenheimer

Group CEO
Zain Group

Dr. Amr Badawi

Board Member

Mr. Kevin Kelly

Mr. Jahmed Farroukh


Mr. Sun Xiaofeng


Future of digital development through stakeholder collaboration redefined at SAMENA Telecom Leaders’ Summit 2016

Public and private sector stakeholders discuss the way forward for a better connected world

Dubai 22 May 2016 – SAMENA Council's Telecom Leaders’ Summit 2016 opened in Dubai in the esteemed presence of International Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and with the active participation of top leaders from both telecom operators as well as regulatory authorities in the region. As SAMENA Council's most anticipated stakeholder cooperation-building and thought leadership industry gathering, Leaders' Summit brought together renowned personalities from the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia, and Europe.

A key milestone witnessed by the regional public-sector and private-sector leadership during the Leaders' Summit was the signing of MOU between the International Telecom Union (ITU), Telecom Regulatory Authority of the UAE, and Mohammed Bin Rashid Smart Learning Program (MBRSLP). The signing ceremony was attended by dignitaries from the UAE as well as from other regional governments, Group CEO's from the region's largest telecom operators, including top leaders from SAMENA Council's board of directors, all of whom had convened to participate in SAMENA Council's Leaders' Summit in Dubai.

The main panel discussion at the Summit was an exchange of insights and commentaries around the theme “Necessities of the evolving market and relevant legislation and regulation”. Dr. Khaled Biyari Group Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Telecom and Chairman of SAMENA Council led the discussion, reiterating the need for telecom operators to expand their digital visions in view of both business needs as well as socio-economic imperatives. Dr. Biyari remarked that "Success now increasingly depends on gaining a deeper understanding of the evolving digital ecosystem and the value-chain, developing or acquiring the capabilities needed to flourish, and ensuring that such ecosystems remain sustainable. New partnership-oriented mindset and strategies need to be adopted across the stakeholder spectrum. For telecom operators to thrive and not simply survive such approaches are integral to future success."

SAMENA Council's Leaders’ Summit 2016 was also host to a number of high-level meetings, including the much-anticipated meeting between the ITU and regional operators and GSMA, which was specially facilitated by SAMENA Council to assist in building better cooperation and understanding among telecom operators and regulatory authorities with the active involvement and advisory oversight of the ITU. Furthermore, the SAMENA Council Roundtable (SALT) was held, creating a new platform for regional operators and regulatory bodies to engage with each other in a mutually resourceful and facilitative manner, for the purpose of aligning priorities in ICT development.

Mr. Bocar BA, CEO of SAMENA Council, sharing his observations on the Leaders' Summit stated that "True progress in the development of the Digital Economy is only possible if stakeholder inclusion is enabled and we strive for it by bringing the public and the private sector leadership together. Our business and our ecosystem are very complex. Fortunately, the quality of the gathering in our Leaders' Summit here in Mina A'Salam clearly indicates that our government and business leaders are not only ready to embrace new insights and mutually rewarding ways to rethink, they are also fully willing to define their success with each other's direct involvement. Moreover, we are continually observing that government leaders are becoming relatively more open toward understanding the pressing issues that the private sector is facing."

On its third year as host sponsor of SAMENA Council's Leaders' Summit, Huawei was represented by Mr. Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East and Mr. Charles Ding, Senior Vice President, Huawei Global, commenting on the success of the Summit, Mr. Yang said, “The SAMENA Telecommunications Council is defining a roadmap for continued growth and transformation in an industry that serves as the key driver for every sector in this digital era we are living in. As the leading solutions provider to these networks, Huawei sees an open, collaborative approach as essential to shared success through cross-stakeholder participation and we are keen to have our stakeholders take advantage of our ‘Open ROADS to a Better Connected World’ strategy during this seminal event. This is an industry-focused strategy that will drive continued innovation by delivering exceptional services and experiences to telecom customers. Our Global Connectivity Index report being launched at this event demonstrates how ICT development can dramatically accelerate economic growth, increase GDP for any country, and deliver operational efficiency, productivity and quality across all vertical sectors.

Mr. Ding sharing his insights about the leaders’ summit success highlighting that, “The Global momentum in digital transformation adoption presents an opportunity for governments and private sector leaders to demonstrate the true value of open collaboration in driving cross- industry success and innovation. ICT advancements in telecommunications play a particularly important role as the enabler of building knowledge-based economies. Today, connectivity serves as the platform for all innovation to function and benefit people. Driven by responsible operations, ongoing innovation and open collaboration, Huawei has established a competitive ICT portfolio of end-to-end solutions in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing, all leading to enabling a future information society and building a better connected world.