Cosmas Zavazava is a Zimbabwean who works in the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union. He is Chief, Projects and Knowledge Management Department responsible for Projects, ICT Data and Statistics, Capacity Building, Emergency Telecommunications, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, E-waste and a special focus on the unique needs of the least developed countries, landlocked developing states, and Small Island Developing States.
Cosmas Zavazava was born in Zimbabwe and he is married with two children.
He holds a PhD in Multilateral Trade. He has a Master’s degrees in Telecommunications and Information Technology Law (LLM), International Relations (MA, suma cum laude), and Business Administration (MBA). He also holds diplomas in Telecommunications and Systems Engineering, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Dr Cosmas Zavazava, a national of Zimbabwe, joined ITU in 2001 working in various capacities before becoming the Chief of the Projects and Knowledge Management Department in 2010.
Since joining ITU, Dr Zavazava has been passionate in the design and implementation of telecommunication/ICT projects across the globe. The projects were mainly in the areas of development, disaster risk reduction and management, climate change mitigation and adaptation. He has made immense contribution towards the effective use of information and communication technologies to address the unique needs of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing states, and developing countries in general. He designed and deployed the first ITU early warning system, and also the first emergency telecommunications project to help countries respond more effectively to natural disasters. He recently developed and launched a ground-breaking project on the use of big data in the prevention and control of the Ebola disease and other epidemics.
Dr Zavazava has a track record in leading high-level negotiations, resource mobilization, and publishing. He organized more than 20 Partnership Round Table Meetings to promote telecommunication/ICT projects presented by least developed countries as well as those countries emerging out of war and major natural disaster situations, to development partners such development banks, private sector, and foundations.
Prior to joining ITU, Dr Zavazava served as Head of Zimbabwe’s Telecommunications Agency. He also served at both bilateral and multilateral diplomatic stations with the title, Minister Counselor, and taught Masters in Business Administration classes at Nottingham Trent University focussing on Strategic Business Management, Finance, Management Information Systems, and other related topics. He represented his Government at many international fora. He negotiated in international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, International Labour Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, International Telecommunication Union, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, G-15, World Health Organization, and the Conference on Disarmament.
He participated and represented ITU in major global conferences including the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries held in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2011; the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, Port-Louis, Mauritius; the Third United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States held in Apia, Samoa in August 2014; and the Third United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. Dr Zavazava has published and co-authored many books and contributed articles to many magazines and journals.
Missing out on the top ITU post
Zimbabwe’s telecommunications expert, Cosmas Zavazava, lost the race for a top post at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at elections held in 2018. Doreen Bogdan-Martin of United States of America polled 95 votes against Zavazava’s 66 to become the director for the telecommunication development bureau (BDT) at ITU. Nigeria’s William Ijeh garnered 16 votes.