Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union

"Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are among the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to dramatically improve health outcomes for infants and their mothers. As co-vice chair of this important Commission, I look forward to sharing our knowledge and actively collaborating with partner agencies and ITU’s unique mix of government and private sector members. Together, we can harness the power of technology to make a real and lasting difference to child and maternal health worldwide."

Born on 3 September 1953, Dr Hamadoun Touré holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad (LEIS, USSR) and Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow (MTUCI, Russia).

Dr Touré is committed to making ITU an innovative, forward looking organization adapted to meeting the challenges of the new ICT environment. As Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau from 1999 until 2006, he played a significant role in the WSIS process by launching numerous projects based on partnership building with international organizations, governments, civil society and the private sector.

He was elected ITU Secretary-General at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, in November 2006 and took office on 1 January 2007. He was re-elected for a second term by the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 7 October 2010.

Prior to his years with ITU, Dr Touré was Africa's Regional General Manager for ICO Global Communications (1996-1998). He spearheaded the company's activities from its Africa Regional Office in South Africa, where he laid the foundation to ensure the successful introduction and operation of ICO's regional operations: marketing and network distribution, coordination with service partners, regulators and operators of fixed, mobile and special services.

He joined the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) in December 1985 where he occupied several important positions. From 1986 to 1990, he was Telecommunications Officer of INTELSAT Assistance and Development Programme (IADP). In this capacity he participated in several IADP projects including the design of earth stations, feasibility studies for domestic satellite communication systems and the implementation of technologies such as time division multiple access (TDMA) and demand assignment multiple access (DAMA) in several developing countries.

From 1990 to 1994, he was INTELSAT's Director for the Africa Region and later served as the Group Director for Africa and the Middle East from 1994 to 1996. During this time, he took an active part in the continental initiative launched by the Regional African Satellite Communications Organization (RASCOM) to pool transponders on the INTELSAT system. He pioneered studies for regional interconnectivity and worked closely with all African and the Middle East countries to enhance the development of their telecommunication infrastructure. In these positions he managed annual revenue budgets of more than USD 115 million.

He is well known for his steadfast commitment to projects such as AFROSAT, AFSAT, PANAFTEL (Pan-African Telecommunications Network), as well as for his contributions to numerous conferences and meetings of ITU, INTELSAT, RASCOM, PATU (Pan-African Telecommunications Union), PANAFTEL and CAPTAC (Conference of Post and Telecommunication Administrations of Central Africa).

On the national scene, he was Manager of the Sulymanbougou II earth station in Bamako, Mali, where he coordinated activities between the country's national Office des postes et télécommunications (OPT) and TELEMALI in 1985. Later that year, he headed OPT's Satellite Communications Section.

From 1981 to 1984, he was Engineer in charge of operation and maintenance of the International Satellite earth station in Bamako, Mali. He worked at the International Switching Centre in Bamako in 1980 and at the PANAFTEL microwave terminal from October 1979.

Dr Touré's language and negotiating skills help him to efficiently broker agreements in several international arenas. He is proficient in three official languages of the Union - English, French and Russian - and has a good level of Spanish.

He is married with four children and two granddaughters.

Decorations and honorary titles

  • Knight of the National Order of Mali
  • Officer of the National Order of Côte d’Ivoire
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Odessa National Academy of Telecommunications (Ukraine)
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa of National University of Moldova - May 2010
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa of the Russian - Armenian (Slavonic) University - Armenia - April 2010
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa of Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) - March 2010
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa of State University of Belarus (BSU) - November 2009
  • Grand Officer of the National Order of the Dominican Republic (Orden al Mérito de Duarte, Sánchez y Mella) - July 2009
  • Honorary Citizen of the City of Yamasa in Dominican Republic - July 2009
  • Honorary Citizen of the city of Grecia (Costa Rica) - August 2007
  • Member and Officer of the Golden Order of Honour of International Telecommunication Academy, Moscow - 2003
  • Member of IEEE
  • Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, Sweden - June 2010
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa of Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland) - September 2010

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