Press Release

Press Release

Renowned Industry Leaders Elected to the SAMENA Council Board of Directors during the General Assembly in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain - February 27, 2018: The South Asia - Middle East - North Africa region’s premier telecommunications industry association, SAMENA Council, has announced the election of Mr. Osman Sultan, CEO - du, Mr. Ahmed El Beheiry, CEO & MD - Telecom Egypt, Mr. Tarig Hamza Zain Alabdeen, CEO - Sudatel, Mr. Marwan Hayek, Chairman & CEO - Alfa Mobile, and the re-election of Mr. Scott Gegenheimer, CEO of Operations - Zain Group, and Eng. Salman Al Badran, CEO - Viva Kuwait to the SAMENA Council Board of Directors.

The SAMENA Council Board election was held during the General Assembly, organized during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Attended by members of SAMENA Council, with Telecom Operator members holding the exclusive right to vote for the new leadership for a fresh two-year term, the election process was conducted in accordance with the statutes and governance policies of the SAMENA Council.

Following the General Assembly, through a voting process, Saudi Telecom Company was re-elected to Chair the Board of Directors, represented by its new Group CEO, Eng. Nasser Bin Sulaiman Al Nasser. Batelco Group, also by vote, was re-elected as Vice-Chair of the Board, represented by its CEO, Mr. Ihab Hinnawi. It is also a pleasure for SAMENA Council to know and inform its membership that H.E. Dr. Khaled H. Biyari, who had been chairing the SAMENA Council's Board as the GCEO of STC, has now been been appointed, by Saudi Royal Decree, as Assistant Minister of Defence for executive affairs.

The election of the top seats marks the beginning of a new term of leadership, necessary for driving forward SAMENA Council's future contributions to the telecommunications industry, in particularly with regard to developing collaboration with regional regulatory authorities on issues that require that public and the government sectors to work together.

Earlier, Orange (Jordan), which is a Founding Member of the Board of Directors -- as are Etisalat, Omantel, STC, and Batelco -- had assigned a group-level representation of Orange Group through its ambassador in the Middle East & Africa, Eng. Atef Helmy, who will now occupy the seat at SAMENA Council's Board. For the occasion of General Assembly, Etisalat was represented by its GSVP - Corporate Communications, Dr. Ahmed bin Ali, while Omantel was represented by its CEO, Shaikh Talal Said Al Mamari.

Remarking on the successful completion of the Board election process and the entry of the renowned telecom networks and highly respected private-sector leaders to the SAMENA Council's Board of Directors, Bocar A. BA, CEO & Board Member, said "With the cumulative knowledge and wisdom of our previous Board, led by STC through H.E. Dr. Khaled Biyari and Batelco Group through Mr. Ihab Hinnawi, SAMENA Council succeeded in advocating the industry's fundamental priorities for inclusion in the global agenda and for drawing global focus on private-sector enablement. Under our new, powerful, and very dynamic leadership, with the re-election of STC as the chair, now being represented through GCEO Eng. Nasser Al Nasser, I foresee making major strides in SAMENA Council being able to play its sector development partner's role and projecting its advocate’s voice for the sustainability of the digital ecosystem, for an improved business environment for Telecom Operators, and for facilitating next steps in the realization of digital economies in the region. I express my deepest excitement over SAMENA Council's membership's participation in the General Assembly and for electing SAMENA Council's new leadership. Congratulations to du, Telecom Egypt, Sudatel, Alfa (Managed by Orascom Tmt), Viva Kuwait, Zain Group, STC, and Batelco, and thanks to Omantel and Etisalat for their continued leadership in the Board. It is also an honour for SAMENA Council as a sector-development partner for both private and government sectors that its ex-Chairman, HE Dr. Khaled Biyari has been appointed by Royal Decree to head executive affairs as Assistant Minister of Defence in an important government body with which the Saudi and the regional telecom industry has an integral interaction and requires active engagement on developing future technologies."

For a term of two years (2018 - 2020), the elected and re-elected Directors will occupy the Board seats, allowing their respective companies (all telecom operators) to collectively define the strategic direction of SAMENA Council's industry activities, while also representing their unique market needs and issues, which SAMENA Council will address by building co-operation and conducting collaborative activities with respective telecom regulatory authorities in the region.