The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was founded in Paris in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union. It took its present name in 1934, and in 1947 became a specialized agency of the United Nations. Although its first area of expertise was the telegraph, the work of the ITU now covers the whole ICT sector, from digital broadcasting to the internet, and from mobile technologies to 3D TV.
An organization of public-private partnership since its inception, the ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries as well as ICT regulators, leading academic institutions and some 700 private sector companies. The ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has 12 regional and area offices around the world.
Egypt and ITU
Egypt has been an active member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) since its establishment. Egypt strongly supports the mission and the pivotal role of the organization through participation in ITU programs and projects, and promotion of ITU goals nationally and internationally.
Member of the ITU council since its inception in 1973, Egypt won its membership in ten rounds out of twelve, helping Egypt defend African and Arab region stances and interests.
Egypt is one of the longest serving members of the ITU Council and is also represented on the council by 16 private sector companies.
During ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP14) in Busan, Korea, during 20 October – 7 November 2014, Egypt was re-elected for the ITU Council membership- for Africa (Region D) - during the period 2015-2018. Egypt also won the elections of the ITU council in 2010 during the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP10) taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Egypt is a founding member of the Connect the World initiative and has chaired the Council Working Group on International Telecommunication Regulations.
Egypt is also an active participant in ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) activities, and established the first regional sub-group in Study Group 2. This will further enhance the regional presence of the ITU and will increase the involvement of developing countries in Africa and the Arab region.
MCIT is coordinating with the ITU Arab Regional Office to implement two of the WTDC Regional Initiatives for the Arab Region, one of which is e-Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) by establishing a Regional Center on ICT for PwDs for the Arab Region in Cairo’s Smart Village.
The other one is the Smart and Sustainable Development initiative by implementing a Smart Ground Water Management Project, where ICTs will replace the conventional irrigation systems. Moreover, Egypt was keen to be the first country to collaborate with the ITU for the translation of its website into Arabic language.