SAMENA Council, speaking at the 11th International Envirocities Conference in Fujairah - UAE, and represented by CEO and Board Member, Bocar BA, advocated the need for realizing green, low-carbon and high-productivity based economic transformation, while remaining human-centric and sustainable in the long-run. Describing the requirements for realizing the desired ICT environment, full of digital possibilities, digital solutions and applications, and bearing positive impact on both business and citizens, SAMENA Council corroborated the imperatives and initiatives being led by Telecom Operators in prioritizing sustainability and climate action across business operations.
Bocar BA, citing the UAE as one of the key markets where sustainable ICT infrastructure development, inclusion-based digital transformation, and green energy consumption are materializing from vision to reality, stated: "Many countries, especially the UAE, have stepped-up efforts to transform economies towards sustainable green economies with the help of ICTs and the introduction of future visions that have sustainable transition at their heart. The UAE is an excellent example of this, where happiness levels and productivity are now higher than before, enabled by strong ICT infrastructure.”
To overcome sustainability challenges in the Arab region, BA mentioned a bi-dimensional approach, whereby, firstly, ICTs should undergo transformation and be developed to be more environmentally sound and less carbon-intensive – a necessity that various Telecom Operator members of the SAMENA Council are addressing, for example, via climate-action collaboration memoranda; and, secondly, ICT-enabled solutions should be deployed to help steer the region towards a more sustainable and energy efficient future.
SAMENA Council also emphasized that for all of the initiatives to work, however, adequate underlying ICT infrastructure is crucial, well-supported by Telecom Operators and financially sustainable to absorb and maintain all future energy efficiency and sustainability needs. Creating a sustainable ICT environment as the enabler of a sustainable digital economy is both a challenge and opportunity area, especially as greater resource mobilization for building future digital infrastructure emerges as a priority need.
SAMENA Council's intervention at the 11th Envirocities Conference followed a similar message delivered earlier during the Arab sustainability week, whereby the Council had advocated on behalf of Telecom Operators the need to adopt and sustain implementable policy-making and enabling regulatory approaches, to help set the right incentives in place and to move forward with the region's green initiatives.
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