In the continuing series of profiling distinguished individuals in the telecommunications industry in Latin America who are at the forefront of ensuring that the benefits of the new era of liberalisation will be enjoyed by businesses and people from all walks of life and from all over the region in the future, Connect-World Latin America here profiles Ahmed Laouyane, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
In his present role, Mr Laouyane has undertaken, during his first term in office, to complete and consolidate the structures of the Development Sector of the Union and to impart a new dynamism to BDT's activities, by giving priority to action the field. In particular his work has involved the establishment of the first ITU Development Study Groups and the organisation of their work as well as the implementation of the Buenos Aires Action Plan. He has led the organisation of regional colloquia on finance, trade and tariffs and oversaw the organisation of the second World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC '98, Valetta, Malta, 1998). He was also responsible for the implementation of important projects and programmes financed by UNDP, Funds-in-Trust, Telecom Surplus (Special Development Programme) such as: Telemedicine, Telecentres, Centres of Excellence, Feasibility Study Africa One and SPACECOM. A graduate in mathematics and physics (University of Tunis and Paris-1962) and Telecommunication (ENST, Paris-1964) he has had a wide national and international career in engineering management and the development of telecommunications. He has served under the Tunisian Ministry and joined the ITU in 1974 as Regional Telecommunications Advisor for West Africa. In 1986 he was elected as Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Telecommunication Development (TCD) of the ITU. From 1991-1994 he assumed the role of Head of Policies, Strategies and Programming Department for the BDT. Conclusion In recognition of his vision, his commitment and his assiduous work in the field of telecommunication development, Mr Laouyane was named as one of the top 50 Cyber Elite by Time Digital (Time Magazine's technology supplement) for his work with the ITU (September 1997). In March this year he was also named as one of the global visionaries by Connect-World. Mr Laouyane is fluent in Arabic, French, English and Italian and can also speak some Spanish.