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Nigeria in top contention as ITU elects new Secretary-General

Nigeria in top contention as ITU elects new Secretary-General

Nigeria’s Shola Taylor has emerged a key contender for the position of the Deputy General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in a fresh round of voting to be held tomorrow at an international meeting of the UN specialised agency for ICT underway in Busan, Korea.

A third round of the elections will be held tomorrow at 8.30 hours at Busan time, to decide who among the three remaining contenders will become the number two man of the body, according to ITU.

Houlin Zhao of China was today elected new Secretary-General of ITU
Houlin Zhao of China was today elected new Secretary-General of ITU

This comes just as the ITU’s 19th Plenipotentiary Conference underway in Busan today elected Houlin Zhao of China as Secretary-General of ITU with 152 votes.

But the position of the Deputy Secretary-General will be decided tomorrow after the four candidates in the race today failed to obtain the required majority of 86 out of the 171 voting countries in the second round.

In the second round held today, Nigeria’s Shola Taylor has polled 49 votes while Malcolm Johnson of United Kingdom recorded 58 votes, Magdalena Gaj of Poland had 42 votes and Bruce Gracie of Canada scored 22 votes. Bruce Gracie of Canada withdrew his candidature after the second round of voting, ITU said.

In the first round of voting held earlier today, Malcolm Johnson of UK had 42 votes; Magdalena Gaj of Poland, 38 votes; Shola Taylor of Nigeria, 30 votes Bruce Gracie of Canada, 27 votes and Fatimetou Mohamed-Saleck of Mauritania, 19 votes. After the first round of voting, Fatimetou Mohamed-Saleck of Mauritania withdrew her candidature, ITU said. In the first round, countries present and voting were 156 while the required majority was 79.

ITU’s 19th Plenipotentiary Conference roundly endorsed Houlin Zhao of China as its next Secretary-General. Zhao will take office on January 1, 2015 for a term of four years, with the possibility of re-election for one additional four-year term.

The election took place in Busan, Republic of Korea, during the plenary session of the PP-14 conference this morning. Zhao won the position with 152 votes, with 156 countries present and voting. He contested the position unopposed.

Addressing the conference after the vote, Zhao told some 2,000 conference participants from around the world that he would do his best to “fulfill ITU’s mission, and, through our close cooperation, ensure ITU delivers services to the global telecommunication and information society at the highest level of excellence.”

Short biography of Mr Shola Taylor

Shola Taylor has over 30 years of experience in the information and communication technology sector, both in the public and private sectors. He earned his BSc in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and MSc in Telecommunication Systems in the United Kingdom in 1979 and 1981, respectively.

Some positions held by Mr Taylor are highlighted below:

At national level he was Senior Telecom Engineer, NITEL Nigeria; Board Member/Commissioner, Nigerian Communications Commission; and lead Expert on elaboration of ICT Policies and Regulation.

At regional level he was Coordinator, African Telecom Think Tank; WRC Technical Coordinator for Africa; Commissioner, NEPAD e‑Africa Commission; Adviser to ICT Ministers in Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa; and ICT Adviser to African Development Bank, MTN and other international organizations.

At international level he was Spectrum Engineer, INTELSAT, Washington DC; Project Director, ITU Geneva; Regional Director for Africa, Inmarsat UK; and ITU Expert on ICT policy, regulatory and infrastructure issues. He was twice elected by the ITU as Member of the Radio Regulations Board and became Board Chairman in 2005. He also served as Chairman of Committee 5B of WRC‑12.

Mr Taylor has received several awards including the ITU Silver Medal, and he has a deep understanding of the diverse needs of the ITU membership.


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