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Published: 18 December 2014


ESCWA participates in the organization of the Second Regional Forum on Digital Arabic Content held under the title of "Developmental Impact of the Digital Arabic Content Industry", Cairo, 12-13 November 2014

 

 

The Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), the Arab Regional Office of the International Telecommunication Union and under the patronage of the League of Arab States, organized the Second Regional Forum on Digital Arabic Content from 12to 13 November 2014 in Cairo. This forum was organized in the framework of the implementation of the Council of Arab Communication Ministers resolution on the promotion of the DAC, adopted at its Sixteenth Session in Wahran, Algeria June 2012, under the title "Developmental Impact of the Digital Arabic Content (DAC) Industry". It is also implemented as a follow up to the first regional forum on DAC held in December 2013.

The forum included six sessions focused on: (a) modern technological trends to enhance the digital Arabic content industry, (b) role of governments in supporting the digital Arabic content industry, (c) media content and electronic publishing, (d) the challenges and the prospects of cooperation and regional integration to promote the digital Arabic content, (e) role of creativity and innovation in the promotion of the national and the Arabic economic system, and (f) the role of the educational and the academic institutions in the development of the digital Arabic content industry.

ESCWA was represented in this forum by Dr. Nibal Idlebi, Chief of Innovation Section, and Dr. Nawar Al-Awa, Regional Advisor on Technology for Development. In her opening speech, Ms. Idlebi pointed out the efforts made by ESCWA to stimulate the development of digital Arabic content since 2003 and most importantly the ESCWA initiative on promoting digital Arabic content industry through incubation. She also delivered a presentation on "The role of innovation in promoting economic and social development in Arab region”. Dr. Al-Awa delivered a presentation on "Digital Arabic educational content: reality and prospects" and presented the enabling environment for the educational digital Arabic content in the Arab countries, then he focused on two areas: e-learning and the resources available for public use online (MOOC) in the Arab countries. He also highlighted a number of recommendations to be considered at strategic and regional levels.

During this forum, the Egyptian National Strategy on digital Arabic content (2014-2020) was launched. A number of government agencies were members in the National Committee of the Digital Arabic Content strategy and they participated in its formulation. Civil society, academia, private sector and many DAC experts also actively participated in the discussion about this strategy.

The forum was attended by representatives of Arab governments, international and regional organizations, the private sector, international companies, and civil society organizations, which work to strengthen and enrich digital Arabic content in the Arab world.

The forum resulted in a number of important recommendations including calling on the General Secretariat of the League of Arab State (LAS) to adopt a proposal to organize this forum on a regular basis under the auspices of the LAS. The recommendations also included the need to review and amend the intellectual property protection laws in Arab countries to protect digital Arabic content and thus stimulate individuals and institutions to publish in Arabic; support and stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship to establish start-up companies to work in the field of DAC; promote regional cooperation by enriching DAC and educational content; update the educational curriculum to align with the requirements of DAC; invite Arab publishers to encourage new talents and help them to publish on trusted Arab platforms; encourage the collaboration between private and public entities to collect the products and the prototypes made in the Arab region on automatic translation (from and to Arabic language); encourage the collaboration between academia and private sector for the production of a high level automatic translator (from and into Arabic); promote regional cooperation in research and development especially in the area of Arabic language processing to stimulate the use of the Arabic language on digital platforms and to exchange success stories and experiences among Arab countries.

Recommendations (in Arabic)

Links for the Forum: