Zimbabwean expert eyes global telecoms post

Dr Cosmas Zavazava

GENEVA – Swiss-based Zimbabwean telecommunications expert Dr Cosmas Zavazava is eyeing the post of director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at the Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 to be held in Romania, in September.

Based in Geneva, Dr Zavazava is presently the chief of the department for partnerships for digital development at the ITU.

Zimbabwe and the African Union have already endorsed him as their candidate for the higher post.

The plenipotentiary conference is the highest policy-making body of the ITU and it is held every four years.

It is a key event at which ITU member states decide on the future role of the organisation, thereby determining the organisation’s ability to influence and affect the development of information and communication technologies worldwide.

Zimbabweans expert endorsed for top telecoms post - Bulawayo24 News

Dr Zavazava said if appointed director of BDT, he will focus on investment in infrastructure, as a bedrock to global connectivity and post-pandemic recovery, innovation in support of the digital transformation of society and inclusiveness for equal access and opportunities.

“My priority as BDT director will be to work towards a people-centred meaningful universal connectivity that provides easy and affordable access to digital opportunities for all,” he said.

“I will also ensure that BDT prioritises skills development through upskilling and reskilling to bridge the skills gap particularly in developing countries and ensure the effective use of digital tools. I envision a BDT that is accountable, adaptable, efficient, innovative, responsive, results-based, and transparent.”

Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Dingumuzi Phuti has on behalf of the Government requested support for the candidacy of Dr Zavazava.

He said Zimbabwe valued the great work that ITU was doing in the furtherance of its mandate and its role in advancing the sustainable development goals and Zimbabwe has benefited greatly from ITU support and Dr Zavazava eligible for the position.

“Dr Zavazava’s passion for development through ICTs and his integrity are unquestionable and have compelled Zimbabwe to offer him to be of greater service to the entire ITU Community. Given his dedication and illustrious career within ITU, I have no doubt that Cosmas is well known to you.”

Prior to joining ITU, Dr Zavazava served as head of Zimbabwe’s telecommunication agency and then served as a senior diplomat.

Dr Zavazava has worked in the development sector of the ITU since 2001 and he has over 30 years of experience in telecommunications.

He holds qualifications in telecommunications, business management, law, and international relations and a doctorate in multilateral trade. He successfully implemented many projects and initiatives, mobilized resources, and negotiated partnerships.

He has demonstrated extreme dedication and passion in his work and is well known across the globe for his leadership in areas of his specialisation which include supporting countries in special need where he formulated, mobilised resources, and implemented the first ITU project for countries emerging out of wars.

Dr Zavazava has also specialised in partnership round tables for least developed countries where he initiated and organized over 20 partnerships round tables for these that brought together member states at ministerial level, plus the private sector, and other development partners.

Through this specialty, country projects requiring funding were launched and promoted as a way of attracting investment into the telecommunication sector.

He also focused on emergency telecommunications where he formulated, mobilized resources, and implemented, for the first time in ITU, a global project to deliver assistance to ITU member states in the immediate aftermath of disasters – a project that has now grown and has benefited all the regions of the world.

As if that is not enough, Dr Zavazava concentrated on big data solutions to mitigate epidemics where on August, 28, 2015 he launched ITU’s first big data project to mitigate the impact of ebola, the program which will soon be replicated in many other countries across the globe.

Currently, he is leading ITU’s big data project for official statistics.

Dr Zavazava also specialised on big data for official statistics and project execution where Dr Zavazava has implemented a lot of ICT and development related projects across the globe.