SAMENA Telecommunications Council and Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Bahrain, respectively represented by CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of SAMENA Council, Mr. Bocar A. BA, and HE Sh. Nasser Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Acting General Director of TRA, have extended their co-operation building efforts and have officially entered into a collaborative framework, to help practically address pressing industry areas that concern the future of the Bahraini market as well as that of the Middle East.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding, both industry bodies, in their respective role as a trade association that seeks to further the interests of telecom operators in the SA-ME-NA region and as a regulator of the telecommunications industry in Bahrain, have defined a way forward to help develop the sector by facilitating common understanding and collaborative engagement, which should aid the identification of the industry's evolving priorities and areas of common interest with respect to sustaining progressive outlook on next-generation regulation; fulfilling national ICT development and capacity-building goals in the region; and enabling the fulfilment of Bahrain's economic and telecommunications development visions.
As a part of the collaborative agreement, SAMENA Council and TRA-Bahrain will organize consultations, studies, workshops, or develop common positions and whitepapers, or mutually identify, develop, or deploy any other platforms and mediums to achieve the defined core objectives of the agreement.
Mr. BA stated that "TRA-Bahrain is a progressive regulator renowned for its many firsts and out-of-the-box initiatives. Such openness and readiness to engage with the Private sector through SAMENA Council, especially with Telecom Operators, are a display of government-level understanding that doing business in the fifth-generation of regulation and industry development requires revamping traditional roles and pursuing more partnership-based initiatives that can enhance common understandings and help bring new opportunities to the surface. SAMENA Council is privileged to extend its sector-development partners' role to add value to the Bahraini telecom sector and to contribute to the larger digital economic development efforts underway within the region."
Acting General Director of TRA Bahrain, Shaikh Nasser Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa said, “The cooperation with SAMENA Council will allow for the exploration of areas of joint collaboration at regional levels. In an industry as dynamic and rapidly evolving as ICT, it is vital to remain open to new ideas and to be familiar with the latest changes in order to maintain a balance that benefits both operators and consumers. The industry will need to maintain a proactive approach to adopt and adapt to emerging challenges”. In relation to working with SAMENA Council, Shaikh Nasser added, ”We look forward to innovating through such collaboration and to closely working with industry players. The coming phase will focus on identifying areas of collaboration after which we can plan the next steps on how to execute and communicate the experience with regional industry players.”
Both industry bodies, as enablers of Private and Public sector co-operation and collaboration building efforts, had previously discussed bringing public-private sector engagement to the next level, whereby the industry's sustainability needs as well as progress in regulatory transformation could be maintained to fulfil much larger digital transformational requirements of the region. SAMENA Council's ongoing active engagement with regional regulators and TRA-Bahrain's openness and future ICT vision have been the key factors, which will drive the new collaborative relationship between the two organizations.