Adel M. Darwish

Bio: Adel M. Darwish, Regional Director, ITU regional office for Arab states, Egypt

Adel Mohamed Darwish, the recently appointed Director, Regional Office of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the Arab States, covering 22 Arab countries, has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of telecommunications, spanning incumbent operator, startup operator, and regulator. In his different roles, Mr. Darwish has been involved with international relations, not only in the ITU, but also in organizations including ICANN, GSMA, the GCC Council, the League of Arab States, Arab Regulatory Network (AREGNET), and SAMENA Council. 

Based in Bahrain, Mr. Darwish has held leadership positions in major conferences at the ITU and outside. He is known for his leadership of the GCC Council Roaming Working Group from 2009 to 2020, during which time the group achieved a major reduction in roaming rates in the region. Mr Darwish was also active in international bilateral projects and negotiations both within the Arab region and beyond. 

Mr. Darwish, with the experience from both private and public sectors, is committed to strengthening regional ICT evolution as well as further enhancing the role of the ITU at the Arab regional level, coordinating globally with other regions. His vision is to help achieve an information society, empowered by the interconnected world, where telecommunication/ information and communication technologies enable and accelerate social, economic and environmentally sustainable growth and development for everyone.

Abstract: ITU Internet Connectivity Projects: GIGA & PRIDA

Mr. Adel will shed the light on the ITU efforts to connect the unconnected and the ongoing projects aiming at fostering the broadband connectivity.
With the ambitious goal to connect every school to the internet, and every young person to information, opportunity and choice, the ITU and UNICEF have partnered on GIGA project. The project aims at supporting countries globally not only to realize the universal school connectivity, but also to provide a future-proof model that would ensure connecting all communities to the internet. 
GIGA maps school connectivity, provides governments with the tools for selecting the most suitable technical solutions and financing models and empowering every young person by creating a repository of Digital Public Goods for e-learning and skills development space.
Policy and Regulation initiative for Digital Africa (PRIDA) is another project that aims to foster universally accessible and affordable broadband across the African continent to unlock the future benefits of internet based services. PRIDA is a joint initiative between the European Union, African Union and the ITU covering spectrum management, policy and regulations and internet governance.
Developing sound policy and regulatory frameworks on spectrum harmonization, spectrum licensing and pricing and cross-border spectrum coordination are among the objective of the PRIDA project that the ITU is currently implementing.