The GSMA Middle East and North Africa convened the 4th bi-annual CXO Roundtable in Tunis, Tunisia on 4th February, 2019. The roundtable was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Anouar Maarouf, Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy- Republic of Tunisia; and attended by senior executives from mobile telecommunications operators from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, and Turkey.
The roundtable discussed a wide range of important topics that play a major role in shaping the mobile telecommunications sector in the MENA region, as well as the pivotal role the sector plays in realising the digital and financial inclusion aspirations of countries in this important part of the world. Guest speakers from Arthur D. Little, Turkcell, and E&Y delivered presentation about the importance of digital transformation to the mobile telecommunications sector. Dr. Karim Taga, Managing Partner and Shareholder of Arthur D. Little who spoke about “Delivering the Digital Dividend” which highlighted the importance for mobile operators to accelerate their drive for digital transformation to regain customer loyalty, increase profitability, and create new sustainable revenue streams to gain a competitive advantage in the age of increased convergence in the digital world.
The topic of “The Digital Operator” was presented by Ms. Aysem Ertopuz, Executive Vice President-Turkcell who took the roundtable participants on the journey to transform Turkcell to a digital operator with 150 million digital customers with applications used in 192 countries around the world; a transformation that added great value to customers and shareholders in the past few years. Ms. Aysem spoke about the critical role of the GSMA’s Mobile Connect in the growth of their e-Commerce business through the secure authentication capabilities of Mobile Connect which was an important factor in increasing consumer trust when purchasing digital contact and making payments through Turkcell digital platforms.
Andy Hudson, Head of Policy spoke about the transformative role that 5G will play in many sectors, and highlighted the critical role that the GSMA plays in engaging with mobile operators, policymakers and equipment manufacturers, and verticals such as healthcare, finance, and automotive to develop the right business models for 5G around the world. Other important topics such as Network Economics, Regulatory Modernisation, Digital Identity and Empowering Youth were presented by the GSMA team.
Nicolas Fichers, Economic Research Manager-GSMA delivered a presentation on the GSMA’s series of proposals and recommendations that will progress the mobile telecommunications sector towards policies that will allow more people to connect to the enormous benefits of mobile internet access. A Focus on Public Policy in Tunisia and how the GSMA MENA is closely working with stakeholders – both in the public and private sectors – in the country was presented by Mohamed Abbess, Head of Public Policy MENA.
The roundtable was concluded with a presentation about Industry Reputation presented by Jawad Abbassi, Head of MENA-GSMA who stressed the efforts by the GSMA all over the world to increase the consumer confidence in the mobile sector and realize the vision of “Connecting Everyone and Everything to A Better Future”.
The successful CXO roundtable was followed by two workshops on 5th February that were focused on Mobile Money and Identity. The speakers Ammar Hamadien- Head of Government & Regulatory Affairs MENA, Andy Widmann- Senior Manager- Mobile Money Services, Amr Hashem- Regulatory Advisor, Mobile Money MENA, and Sham Careem- Service Provider Engagement Director from the GSMA delivered comprehensive workshops to highlight the importance of Mobile Money and Identity to consumers in the MENA region and emphasized the role of mobile operators in increasing financial inclusion in a secured and reliable manner through the GSMA’s Mobile Money and Identity standards.