Business

Telecom and IT Sector: Keys to Improve Yemen’s Economy

National Yemen

By National Yemen Staff

Reading between the lines, the new government’s working plan, which was proposed to Parliament last week December 2014, has many promising points that have attracted the public’s attention, despite the deteriorating situation in the country.

A fast solution that could cost the new government nothing and would bring a good amount of money to the state treasury is the development of the telecom sector. This is where the government should start to attract the attention of local and international investors.

For the moment, the telecom business is the second largest source of income for the government after oil. It could be a main source of income in 2015 with the ongoing attacks of oil and gas pipelines.

Again, this is not far from the government’s second point in their working plan, which says that the government needs to address the economy, including financial and cash flow performance to help poor communities in need. This is what Yemen needs and what the new Telecom and IT Minister Eng. Lutfi Mohammed Bashareef is looking to do. He is seeking the opportunity to issue licenses for 3G and 4G services, which are going to make a tremendous jump in the telecom business.

The telecom and IT business comes at the top of the government agenda, which focuses on financial, economic, and management reform. Bashareef, who actually came to power from within the business community of the telecom sector, needs to address the legitimate needs of the IT sector and call for the renewal of current GSM companies and to issue a license for broadband technology. This step will contribute to the government’s serious response to expand international connections by subscribing to new network cables in international centers, which allows voice and data to travel easily using internet protocols while monitoring quality and performance.

The early start of mobile networks between 2000-2001 has made a major change in the community and opened up opportunities for people to conduct individual and group business. 3G and 4G will double these opportunities, especially in the current political climate. The first project for the government in 2015 should be projects for telecom and IT. It won’t just change business and create opportunities, it will change people’s minds and thinking. It will bring the country one step ahead using its local and international experts.

While many individuals where waiting in the past for government change, Yemeni experts were working to finalize the procedures to issue telecom and IT law. Recently, Eng. Lutfi M. Bashareef honored his predecessor Dr. Ahmed Obaied Bin Dagher. Bashareef was aiming to link between past and future working plans to learn from his predecessor about projects to build on his new vision.

At the farewell party, both Bashareef and Bin-Dagher exchanged a history portfolio that may help the Ministry escape Yemen’s current challenges with the help of the telecom and IT sector.

“With the new government, the Ministry of Telecom and IT is striving to make the telecom sector a top source of the government and people’s income,” said Bashareef. “The Ministry has the potential to double the country’s economy.”

Bashareef praised former ministers for their excellent efforts to maintain ministry rules and regulations. He reflected back on a good time when his predecessor led the Ministry of Telecom and IT from 2011-2014. “His outstanding achievements will remain for all of us to remember and recall in our future working plans,” said Bashareef. “We brought him today to celebrate with him what he was not able to celebrate.”

With the ongoing chaos, the former minister said the ministry infrastructure has encountered various attacks and cable sabotages, which has caused the slowness and the loss of internet services over the past few years. In his speech, Bin Dagher said that the new minister, who is actually an engineer, will probably help the country to create better opportunities to improve the quality of telecom services.

“In Yemen, the Ministry is working hard to make a tremendous jump via current local and international companies like Yemen Mobile, TeleYemen, MTN, Sabafone and Y Telecom,” said a reporter.

This Ministry has more potential than other ministries because it can diversify the many projects it has into an excellent sources of income for the government. The project of the landline phones (Hatfi), fiber to home services, the new broadband, international phone calls, the internet, post office services, and many other project could create self-revenue.

“The telecom and post offices along with the public and private telecom companies who have well-known staff with high skills, knowledge, and experience will definitely makes change very soon,” said the Minister. “We trust our engineers and staff and their capabilities to work together.”

“I am proud of being one of you and I am happy to continue to build the future of the telecom sector together,” said Bashareef. “I am pretty sure that the good work of today will have a positive influence on coming generations for all the countries youth.”

“I am very much aware of the former ministers who struggled to gift us their well respected efforts and I want to tell them that their achievements and wonderful work will remain in a good light to inspire and adopt successful examples to continue our mission based on the new strategy of the government,” he said.

Bin-Daghar appreciated the professional gesture of the new minister. He said, “I am quite happy to work with all of you and know many of you at the Ministry of Telecom and IT. It was a short period of time, but it was a great opportunity to work with you day and night in one of the most important ministries for Yemen’s economy.”

“Telecom has been a target for a few vandals who aim to overtake the national sources for their owns. This has given us the power to fight against those individuals,” said Bin-Dagher.

The LTE project should come to Yemen to cover the public need. The major challenge for telecom is offering high quality and speed. Citizens must have the same quality of service as other countries, and the government has to speed up bringing LTE into the business and gain the mutual befits of this new technology.

Recently, the Ministry of Telecom and IT has recruited more than 2,500 employees. The new leadership is working to start new projects that will cut costs and bring more value.

At the end of the ceremony, which was attended by the top ranking staff, Bashareef rewarded his predecessor with the Ministry Shield, while Sadiq Muslih, the executive general manager of the PTC granted the former minister with the Telecom Shield. The post office authority, TeleYemen and Yemen Mobile shared their own shields with Bin-Daghar to acknowledge his three years of work as Minister of Telecom and IT.