13 November 2014
Second Regional Forum for Digital Arabic Content Concludes

The events of the Second Regional Forum for the Digital Arabic Content entitled “Developmental Impact of Arab Digital Content Industry” –organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)  during November 12 -13 in the Information Technology Institute (ITI) premises at Smart Village-was concluded today.

The event is organized upon the recommendations of the 16th round of the Arab Telecommunications and Information Council of Ministers meeting taking place in Wahran, Algeria in June 2012, to strengthen the Arabic digital content.

Representatives of Arab governments, international and regional organizations and the private sector attended the event; as well as global companies and civil society organizations concerned with enriching the digital content in the Arab world.

The two-day forum discussed digital content related issues on top of which are the new trends in  Arabic digital content industry, the role of governments in supporting the industry, media content and e-publishing, challenges and horizons of cooperation and regional integration to strengthen the Arabic digital content and the role of innovation in this industry, thus promoting national and Arab economies.

The Digital Arabic Content National Strategy (2014 - 2020) was launched during the forum. A number of government entities which are members of the national committee for Arabic digital content, in coordination with the civil society organizations and representatives of the private sector, academy figures and experts worked together to release the strategy.

The strategy aims to create an innovative Arabic digital content to preserve the Egyptian identity, serving sustainable development and shifting towards a knowledge society. This is achieved through empowering and promoting digital content as a channel to communicate with different cultures and civilizations under globalization challenges; and the trend towards achieving knowledge society economies, while relying on human calibers to build the society and lead the industry towards global competitiveness.

The creation of a suitable environment to strengthen various types of Arabic digital content in line with international standards is a main goal of the strategy. This is in addition to enriching the Arabic culture through preserving and digitizing the Arabic heritage-a cultural reservoir that helps increase accessible Arabic digital content in comparison to other languages-and  making it accessible to all.

Moreover, the strategy focuses on other sub-goals including the development of a strong digital content to contribute to the national GDP, encourage investment in both the Egyptian and the Arab markets, and provide job opportunities to guarantee sustainability.

This is in addition to ensuring effective accessibility to a strong digital government content to achieve transparency, build trust between the citizen and the government, strengthen political participation and improve Egypt’s international indicators, as well as empowering the Arabic digital content production that is competitive, innovative and rich.

This is attained through the development of research, innovation and entrepreneurship through a package of policies and mechanisms that encourage an innovative community to enrich the digital content and interact with different cultures and civilizations.

The forum had a number of recommendations, on top of which come the suggestion to the general secretariat of the League of Arab States to adopt Egypt’s proposition regarding the forum’s organizational chart, and the preparation of an inclusive and detailed vision of the forum’s work methodology.

Finding a mechanism to collect translations from public and private entities and creation a unified source for the automated translation were one of the major suggestions. Other recommendations included AICTO efforts concerning the ability screening form and the need for digital Arabic content.

Attendees agreed on the importance of reinforcing efforts of King Abdel-Aziz City for Science and Technology in the translation of foreign scientific periodicals and publishing them online for free, as well as encouraging other Arab countries to re-create the experience.

Recommendations enlisted the revision of intellectual property laws in the Arab World to give more attention to the digital content in their clauses, encouraging Arab countries to quickly issue laws of accessibility to data and information, inviting publishers to adopt new talents in the field of writing and opening new horizons to use the low cost of publishing on secured Arab platforms.

Egypt organized the first forum entitled “towards a digital content strengthening transparency, participation, innovation in the Arab World”, in Cairo, 8 December 2013 which recommended the periodical holding of the forum.

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