Speaking shortly after taking over from his predecessor, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who held the position for eight years, Prof. Unwin declared that it is an exciting moment to take the helm of such a prestigious organization of over a century tradition.
“… And help shape its future as a vehicle for delivering effective development interventions that will enable everyone in our societies to benefit from the enormous potential of ICTs,” he declared.
He noted that CTO has a century-old tradition of providing support in the field of telecommunications and the use of ICTs for development across the Commonwealth for governments, regulators and the private sector.
The Council of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) recently confirmed the appointment of Prof. Tim Unwin as its new Chief Executive Officer.
A press statement from CTO endorsed by the Senior Officer, Marketing and Communications, Srini Srinivasan, noted that Tim Unwin, currently a professor of Geography and chairman of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D), has research and teaching experience which focused on the use of ICTs to empower poor and marginalised communities.
Also, Prof. Unwin is the chairman of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, which is the public body that manages the UK’s £19 million contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), a framework through which governments of Commonwealth countries offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other member states.
Tim Unwin took over the reins of the intergovernmental body from Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who held the position for eight years, spearheading with the Chief Operating Officer, Bashir Patel, the organisation’s innovative range of programmes and initiatives.
“I am pleased to be handing over the reins of the CTO at such a high point in the Organisation’s life,” Spio-Garbrah was quoted as saying.
He also said that when the new business and commercial initiatives that have been announced in recent years and approved by council are fully harnessed, the exponential growth of the CTO will know no bounds.
Prof Unwin, is well-positioned to inherit the leadership of the 110-year old organisation as it expands and diversifies partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders including the donor community, companies and civil society.
In 2007-2008, he was Director and then Senior Advisor to the World Economic Forum’s Partnerships for Education programme with UNESCO, which aims to deliver effective multi-stakeholder contributions to the ’Education for All’ goals agreed at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal in 2000.
From 2001-2004, he led the UK Prime Minister’s Imfundo initiative based in the Department for International Development, creating partnerships to deliver ICT-based educational initiatives in Africa.
On returning to Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2004, he created an ICT4D Collective, which undertakes research, teaching and consultancy in the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development.
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