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Published: 11 March 2014

Workshop on the digital Arabic content industry and launching the “Thinking digital? Let’s innovate in Arabic!” competition in Egypt


The digital Arabic content (DAC) competition in Egypt was launched on 2 March 2014 within the framework of cooperation between the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt represented by the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (TIEC), which hosted the event at its premises in the Smart Village in Cairo. “Thinking digital? Let’s Innovate in Arabic!” was the competition’s theme which was announced as part of a workshop to raise awareness on the importance of the DAC industry. The workshop was attended by representatives from government agencies, companies involved in DAC development, as well as a large number of start-ups, young entrepreneurs and university graduates.

Dr. Hossam Osman, Acting Manager of TIEC, inaugurated the workshop welcoming the participants and addressing the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT domain. He highlighted the role of the DAC industry in building the information society and increasing national productivity. His presentation was followed by the Ministry’s speech given by Mr Raymond Kamal, on behalf of the international cooperation department, in which he focused on the importance of ICT innovation and the Ministry’s interest in supporting the youth. He also welcomed the partnership with ESCWA on promoting the DAC industry in Egypt.

Dr. Nibal Idlebi, Chief of the ICT Applications section at ESCWA, delivered a presentation on the importance, opportunities and challenges of the DAC industry in which she detailed the areas of DAC, ESCWA’s DAC activities during the past decade, as well as the most prominent results of ESCWA’s study entitled “Status of the digital Arabic content industry in the Arab region”. Gabriel Deek, a seasoned ICT business expert, discussed the new business models for DAC start-ups in the region while supporting his presentation with examples and success stories from the region.

The workshop also included a very lively discussion panel on experiences of companies and startups that are involved in developing DAC products. The discussions addressed best practices and lessons learned in addition to challenges and obstacles and means to overcome them. Panelists were representing the Arab e-Publishing Association, Hindawi Foundation, as well as the startups Nafham, Iqraaly, and Edukitten. also participated as a case study. The full agenda is available here.

The workshop ended with announcing the competition. Ms. Hania Sabbidin Dimassi delivered a presentation on the conditions, selection criteria, and timeline, whereas Ms. Lamia Al Rachidy, manager of the incubators department, overviewed the incubation award and services to be provided to the winners. It is worthy to note that the competition targets university graduates and young entrepreneurs with innovative DAC ideas whether products, e-services or mobile applications. The door for applying is now open until 31 March 2014 and the application form is available online at the following URL:

For further information on ESCWA’s DAC initiative, please visit the following URL:


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