The group on capacity building initiatives meets to validate selection of Centres of Excellence for the period 2015-2018

Photo1The Group on Capacity Building Initiatives (GCBI) met in Geneva on the 17th of October 2014 to deliberate on the selection of the new Centres of Excellence (CoEs). The main purpose of the meeting was to validate and endorse the list of recommended CoEs.

The selection process was based on the Centres of Excellence: Strategic Review and Recommendations for the Future formulated pursuant to Resolution 73 of the World Telecommunication Development Conference of 2010 (WTDC-10). This process kicked off on 2 June 2014 with a letter from Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), to all ITU Member States, ITU-D Sector Members and Academia. In the letter, the Director called for applications from institutions interested in becoming CoEs for the period 2015-2018. The applications received were first evaluated by ITU, based on the Operational Process Procedures Document for the New Centres of Excellence Strategy report, and then by the regional offices and their regional GCBI representatives. As part of the new selection process, the number of CoEs was limited to a maximum of six per region within the 11 priority areas identified by WTDC-14.

All GCBI regional representatives were present at the meeting of the 17th October. The Americas region was represented by an official from the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) who participated remotely.

The meeting was opened by the GCBI Chairman, Prof David Mellor OBE and Dr Cosmas Zavazava, Chief of the ITU Project Support and Knowledge Management Department.

“You have been there with us throughout this process, from strategy formulation, to this day of selection,” said Dr Zavazava to the GCBI members.

Prof Mellor stressed that the Group met “to help the Director make the right, informed decision when appointing the Centres of Excellence”.

At the meeting, each region made presentations on their recommendations through the respective GCBI members. Out of 99 applications received, a maximum of six institutions per region were proposed as new CoEs. Each institution could apply for a maximum of two priority areas. The list of proposed institutions for each region was validated by the GCBI and submitted to the Director of BDT.

The geographical distribution of applying institutions is as follows: 16 are in Africa, 15 in the Americas; 9 in the Arab States region, 12 in Asia-Pacific; 3 in the Commonwealth of Independent States region; and 10 in Europe. More information can be found on this page.

All applicants have been directly informed of the selections results.


In terms of the new strategy, the Member States of the selected Centres will be invited to be part of a Steering Committee for each of the six regions for the new cycle. The first meetings of the Steering Committees will be convened between December 2014 and end of January 2015. The Steering Committees will make decisions on operational matters and will develop the Centers’ Action plan for 2015.

The Group on Capacity Building Initiatives (GCBI), which was established pursuant to Resolution 40 adopted at the World Telecommunication Development Conference in 2010 (WTDC-10), and reaffirmed by WTDC-14, comprises of two human capacity building-experts from each region, and advises the Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau on a wide range of human capacity-building issues in the ICT sector.

ITU Centres of Excellence are high-level training institutions with a worldwide recognized reputation. They work with ITU to deliver excellence in training and capacity building in an assigned field of telecommunications/ICT. The new CoEs network is built around quality, self-sustainability and partnerships. Centres of Excellence are designed to offer continuous face-to-face or distance learning training programmes and meet professional needs of ITU membership and thereby contribute to improvement of their performance.

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