Middle East telecom market to offer $46 billion worth new opportunities

Telecom Lead Middle East: The Middle East mobile market
has opportunities for $46 billion projects to enhance ICT access, applications
and services throughout the region.


The new projects include building a regional Arab ICT
highway, developing e-services, empowering local people through training and
human capacity building, leveraging ICTs for youth job creation, strengthening
cybersecurity, and protecting Arab heritage and culture.


ITU, in a press release, said that industry and
government leaders attending ITU Connect Arab Summit have identified market
opportunities worth over $46 billion for new regionally focused projects
designed to enhance ICT access, applications and services throughout the


The Arab Summit decided to forge regional consensus on
new strategies to improve infrastructure deployment, extend access to
marginalized populations, and stimulate innovation and employment across the
Arab region.


The Summit closed with a communiqué endorsed by all
participating governments from across the Arab region, which set out four key
development goals around Access and Infrastructure; Digital Content;
Cybersecurity; and Innovation.


The energy in this region testifies to the Arab world’s
transformation into a major technology hub and a pre-eminent force in the
global ICT industry. A growing number of the world’s most exciting new ICT
companies are now based here, and I confidently predict that within the next
ten years, the ICT sector could become the single biggest employer of young
talent,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré.


The following projects were discussed at the Summit.

1)       A project between
ITU and the League of Arab States to establish a dot Arab domain name. UAE
announced that it would host this important new domain.

2)       An Arab Women’s
Literacy project involving ITU, ALESCO and UAE designed to empower women in the
region with ICT skills in Arabic.

3)       A project between
ITU and the Linux Professional Institute to promote open source software
training and certification.

4)       A broadband
toolkit to be developed by the World Bank, along with a regional broadband
connectivity study to support additional infrastructure investment and an
employment study focusing on the West Bank/Gaza.

The Arab Information and Communication Technologies
Organization (AICTO) proposed several projects, including a regional
cybersecurity initiative to promote safe and secure e-transactions; a digital
broadcasting project; a new project to establish e-accessibility centres to
provide education, training and retrofitting of Arab websites in partnership
with W3C; and a common legal framework on e-accessibility in Arab region.


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