About Us

The key activities in the region are public policy engagements, coordination of regional interest groups and member services.

To learn more about the GSMA in the Middle East and North Africa region, please contact [email protected].

Middle East and North Africa Team

Jawad Jalal Abbassi

Head of MENA, GSMA

Jawad leads the GSMA MENA team that is responsible for GSMA work & activities in the MENA region, which spans 25 countries. He oversees the MENA advocacy activities and GSMA programs such as future networks and technology programs. Jawad’s team engages with GSMA members, including mobile operators, in the deployment strategies of mobile services such as 5G networks, the internet of things, digital identity and AI.

Jawad’s team also works with a team of mobile experts from the GSMA including its HQ in London and other locations around the world. The work includes collaborating with stakeholders in MENA and advocacy work to ensure sustainable investments in mobile broadband networks. Activities include promoting the mobile industry’s positive contributions to regional and national economic development at the highest levels, influencing the region’s major opinion leaders.

Jawad’s career experience in ICT and media spans 28 years. Before joining the GSMA as head of MENA in Oct 2015, Jawad managed the Arab Advisors Group, which he had founded in 2001; he sold 55% of the company to the Arab Jordan Investment Bank in 2005. Prior to that, Jawad’s career experience included working as a senior telecommunications and technology consultant with the Yankee Group in Boston, USA.  Between 1998 and 2000, Mr. Abbassi was a senior analyst with the communications research arm of the Economist Intelligence Unit in Boston.

Jawad is also a frequent guest speaker at conferences and seminars related to technology, communications and media in the Arab world.

He has received his BSc in engineering from the American University in Cairo, Egypt in 1993 and received a scholarship for an MSc in information systems from the London School of Economics in 1998. He also completed executive education courses in finance for senior executives from Harvard Business School in July 2010 and comparative tax policy in August 2018 from Harvard Kennedy School

Wangari Karuoya

Advocacy Marketing Manager, MENA & SSA , GSMA

Wangari Karuoya is the Advocacy Marketing Manager, Africa and Middle East and is based in Nairobi. Wangari manages local implementation of the annual marketing and communications plan, region-specific marketing content and regional and in-country campaigns to increase awareness and action within target audience groups. She works very closely with colleagues and programmes focused across both regions. Prior to joining the GSMA she worked with Save the Children International, a Non- Governmental Organization that deals with issues of health, education and child protection as the Campaign and Communication Officer.

Wangari holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the United States International University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Development Communication at the same institution.

Amr Hashem

Policy Director, MENA

Amr Hashem is the Policy Director for Middle East and North Africa at GSM Association (GSMA). Amr is a highly accomplished professional with almost 30 years of experience in Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). Amr’s expertise lies at the intersection of communication engineering, corporate strategy, and development policy.

In his role as a Policy Director MENA, Amr Hashem promotes collaboration between mobile operators and regulators, advocates for favorable regulations for new technologies such as 5G, IoT, O-RAN and eSIM. Amr also seek to facilitate the launch of new services by building partnerships and establishing collaborations among various stakeholders.

Throughout his career, Amr Hashem has held key leadership positions in public, private and international institutions demonstrating his ability to manage complex projects and foster multi-stakeholder collaboration. As expert in technology development and regulatory reforms, Amr has lead the development of Egypt’s telecom sector reform plans (2000-2008); Telecom law; as well as negotiated multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements for trade in telecommunications, IT, and postal services. Amr’s contributions have been instrumental in the setup and licensing of Egypt’s national Internet backbone and access services.

On the operator/investor side, Amr has lead several projects for acquiring 4G licenses; establishing independent operators for fiber backbone and mobile towers and developing regional data centers and Internet Exchanges. During his consulting career, Amr lead several projects aiming to improve the ecosystem for the development of digital infrastructure in developing countries in collaboration with international development agencies (International Finance Corporation of World Bank, World Trade Organization, USAID, Internet Society and ITU).

Furthermore, Amr Hashem’s contributions extend beyond his professional achievements. As a co-founder and current Chairman of Internet Masr(Egypt) NGO, he has been actively involved in championing the development of internet policies, digital rights, and digital inclusion in Egypt. Additionally, he has served as a non-executive director and committee member in prominent organizations such as Telecom Egypt and the Egyptian Technology Development Fund, leveraging his expertise in technology, strategic decision-making, and corporate governance.

With a strong academic background, Amr Hashem is currently writing his Ph.D. Dissertation in Management of Technology focusing on the diffusion of crowd-sourced network measurements and its role in improving digital equity in developing countries. Amr is a holder of an MBA in Corporate Strategy & Economic Policy from Maastricht Schools of Management, Netherlands, and a B.Sc. in Communications Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt. Amr Hashem brings a wealth of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to his work. His research interests focus on comparing technology diffusion models in developing countries, exploring innovative models for financing infrastructure deployment, international trade in digital services and enhancing digital equity in rural areas.

Recognized for his expertise, Amr Hashem is a sought-after public speaker and has actively participated in conferences and workshops. Fluent in Arabic and English, he possesses exceptional communication skills that enable effective engagement with diverse stakeholders. Amr’s proven track record of driving technological advancements, shaping policies, and fostering collaboration reflects his passion for innovation and dedication to making a lasting impact in the industry.