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Developing the Information Society in Western Asia ------- UN-ESCWA Activities during 2008-2009 by Georges Younes Representing UN-ESCWA (ICTD) younesg@un.org Geneva - 19 May 2009

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Title: Developing the Information Society in Western Asia ------- UN-ESCWA Activities during 2008-2009 by Georges Younes Representing UN-ESCWA (ICTD) younesg@un.org Geneva - 19 May 2009


1
Developing the Information Society in Western
Asia ------- UN-ESCWA Activities during
2008-2009 by Georges Younes Representing
UN-ESCWA (ICTD) younesg_at_un.org Geneva - 19 May
2009
2
Agenda
  1. The divisions stated objective and expected
    accomplishments for 2008 and 2009
  2. IS panorama in the ESCWA region
  3. Some 2008-2009 activities
  4. This years main IS event
  5. Questions and answers

3
ICTD Objective for 2008-09
To narrow the digital divide and to build an
inclusive, people-centred and development-oriented
information society in accordance with
internationally agreed development goals and
objectives.
4
Expected Accomplishments
(a) Increased implementation of the Regional Plan
of Action for Building the Information Society,
particularly in relation to the information and
communication technology sector (b) Enhanced
capacity of member countries to provide
e-services in Arabic targeting socio-economic
development
5
IS Panorama in Western Asia (2008)
  • 2008 Little improvement over past years
  • Regions Internet penetration 11.81
    - world average 22.04 (ITU figures)
  • Digital divide also exists within region
    (richer/poorer countries) Mobile
    penetration in UAE 173 Yemen 14

6
Regional Plan of Action - WA
  • Original formulation of RPOA 2005
  • 10 programmes/38 projects
  • Partners private sector, public sector,
    international organizations, regional
    organizations
  • 2006-2008 Formulation of Arab ICT Strategy and
    companion plan of action
  • Much of the RPOA was adopted as-is by the
    League of Arab States and backed by the Arab
    Telecommunications and Information Council of
    Ministers (ATICM)
  • RPOA update June 2009 during WSIS follow-up
    conference in Damascus (more later)

7
ISPER Information Society Portal
  • Regional online tool for following up on the
    RPOA
  • Caters to Arabic and English speakers/ bilingual
    library
  • Real-time discussion forums

8
National/Regional IS Profiles
  • Biennial publication Regional Profile of the
    Information Society compiled from National
    Profiles
  • All action lines covered in both publications
  • Include a chapter that highlights ICT
    achievements which may have an impact of the
    MDGs
  • Comparative analysis help Governments
    update/fine tune strategies and implementation
    plans
  • To iron out the kinks of past profiles, ESCWA
    held in November 2008 a Consultative Workshop
    on the National Profiles in Western Asia
  • Modified template to improve quality/accuracy

9
Access to Information and Knowledge (1)
  • Access in rural areas remain one of the main
    obstacles
  • 3-year project (2006-2009) involving Regional
    Commissions (ESCWA as lead agency) Knowledge
    Networks through ICT Access Points for
    Disadvantaged Communities
  • Transformation of existing ICT access
    points/community telecentres into knowledge hubs
  • Knowledge hubs provide, develop, organize,
    share and disseminate knowledge to the
    communities they serve

10
Access to Information and Knowledge (2)
  • 2008 activities
  • Design of the Knowledge Networks portal
  • Formulation of regional and global knowledge
    strategies
  • Training workshops for key staff of
    participating telecentres

11
Capacity Building
  • ESCWA and UNESCO are partners in ICT
    Education in Iraq
  • Aimed at addressing problems related to
    education in a conflict zone
  • Work subdivision
  • ESCWA ICT infrastructure
  • UNESCO Training and e-learning
  • 2008 activities
  • Sessions on the formulation of education
    strategies
  • ICDL instructor training
  • Creation of courseware
  • Infrastructure and equipment for 5 training
    centres and 10 schools

12
Enabling Environment
  • 2007 Study Models for Cyber Legislation
  • 2008 Workshop Cyber Legislation and its
    Implementation in the ESCWA Region
  • 2009 Project Harmonization of Cyber
    Legislations
  • 2009 Study Building Trust in e-Services in
    the ESCWA Region

13
Cultural Diversity (1)
  • Arabic speakers 5 of the world population
  • Arabic content on the Internet 0.16
  • Digital Arabic content (DAC) is a subject that
    is dear to the heart of policymakers in the
    Arab world
  • Field project Promotion of the Digital Arabic
    Content Industry through Incubation
  • Partnership with 5 incubators in (1 in each)
    Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen
  • Competition to select DAC projects to be
    incubated under the supervision of participating
    incubators

14
Cultural Diversity (2)
  • Active involvement of ESCWA in the development
    of an Arabic Domain Names System (ADNS)
  • 2003 Creation of the Arabic Domain Names Task
    Force (ADNTF)
  • 2008 Collaborative efforts with global players
    (Afilias PIR) to resolve outstanding issues
  • Involvement of communities and experts from
    diverse parts of the globe using Arabic script
    (e.g. Persian and Urdu)

15
International Regional Cooperation (1)
  • Many ESCWA initiatives have been carried out in
    partnership with international and regional
    organizations
  • Collaborative efforts are coordinated primarily
    with United Nations Regional Commissions, UN
    specialized agencies, UNDP regional offices the
    League of Arab States as well as governments of
    member countries

16
International Regional Cooperation (2)
  • ESCWA Technology Center for Development aims
    at supporting national and regional
    capacity-building in science, technology and
    innovation
  • A manifestation of regional cooperation and
    integration as it is based on a partnership
    between ESCWA and its member countries,
    particularly those who will host and partially
    fund the centre
  • Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Syria
    expressed interest in hosting the centre
  • Status Final negotiations

17
Financing Mechanisms
  • May 2009 a workshop on Investment in the ICT
    Sector.
  • The main objective of the workshop is to raise
    the awareness of member countries and to
    increase their understanding of policies,
    mechanisms and modalities that promote ICT
    investment and in the region
  • Participants included policymakers from
    investment authorities and ministries of ICT,
    entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment
    bankers as well as representatives of investment
    companies.

18
Measuring the Information Society
  • 2008 In collaboration with the Arab Institute
    for Training and Research in Statistics (AITRS)
    and the International Telecommunication Union
    (ITU), a training workshop on Measuring ICT
    Indicators
  • Theoretical and hands-on training on data
    collection of the core list of ICT indicators,
    including indicators on ICT infrastructure,
    access to and use of ICT by households and
    individuals, use of ICT by businesses, as well
    as on trade in ICT goods

19
2009 Main IS Event in Western Asia (1)
Regional Follow-up to the Outcome of the World
Summit on the Information Society 16-18 June
2009 Damascus, Syria
20
2009 Main IS Event in Western Asia (2)
  • Highlights implementation activities related to
    WSIS outcomes, the Regional Plan of Action
    (RPOA) and the Arab ICT Strategy
  • An updated version of the RPOA including a list
    of new projects targeting the needs and
    realities of the Information Society for the
    period extending from 2009 to 2015
  • A roadmap for the implementation and follow-up
    of future WSIS-related activities
  • The creation of the Global Alliance for ICT and
    Development (GAID) Arab Region Network.

21
2009 Main IS Event in Western Asia (3)
Draft Agenda - Day 1 - 16/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 1 - 16/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 1 - 16/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 1 - 16/06/2009
Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
930-1100 Opening Ceremony (Plenary) Opening Ceremony (Plenary) Opening Ceremony (Plenary)
930-1100 ESCWA, MOCT, UNESCO (Update on WSIS Activities in the Arab World), IDRC, GAID (TAGI), ITU, LAS ESCWA, MOCT, UNESCO (Update on WSIS Activities in the Arab World), IDRC, GAID (TAGI), ITU, LAS ESCWA, MOCT, UNESCO (Update on WSIS Activities in the Arab World), IDRC, GAID (TAGI), ITU, LAS
930-1100      
930-1100      
930-1100      
930-1100      
1100-1130 Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
1130-1300 Keynote Speakers (Plenary) Keynote Speakers (Plenary) Keynote Speakers (Plenary)
1130-1300 ESCWA (RPOA), GAID, Cisco (ICT for Collaboration and Increased Productivity), Microsoft, SCS, STE, AITRS, ARADO ESCWA (RPOA), GAID, Cisco (ICT for Collaboration and Increased Productivity), Microsoft, SCS, STE, AITRS, ARADO ESCWA (RPOA), GAID, Cisco (ICT for Collaboration and Increased Productivity), Microsoft, SCS, STE, AITRS, ARADO
1130-1300      
1130-1300      
1130-1300      
1130-1300      
1300-1400 Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break
1400-1530 Regional ICT Strategies ICT Infrastructure Research and Development
1400-1530 Mohamed Abdel Wahab (Arab Business Forum for ICT) Arab ICT Strategies for ICT Services Mahmood Sharief AlShaikhli (Ministry of Science and Tech Iraq) Government-Wide ICT infrastructure Abdul Kader Kamli (Madar Research - UAE) Statistical Irregularities and Other Issues Facing ICT Research in the ESCWA Region
1400-1530 Abebe Chekol (UN-ECA) Implementing the World Summit on the Information Socieity (WSIS) Action Lines in Africa Analysis of Country Reports ITU To be contacted ESCWA Technology Centre
1400-1530 Abdel Rahman Sabry (LAS-Egypt) Progress made in Regional ICT Strategies STE To be contacted Arab Advisors Group To be contacted
1400-1530 ESCWA - RPOA GDS (Lebanon) To be contacted Omaima Dakak To be contacted
1400-1530      
1530-1600 Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
1600-1730 National ICT Strategies Measurements/Indicators Capacity Building
1600-1730 Ahmed El-Sherbiny (MCIT - Egypt) Egypt's Information Society Strategies in Light of WSIS Outcomes Eman Yassin (CAPMAS - Egypt) Measure the Impact of the Use of Communications Technology Towards Building the IS Youssef Monsef (Lebanese University) WSIS Recommendations and Readiness of Universities in the ESCWA Region
1600-1730 Yahya al_Rewi (Aden University) ????? ??????? ????? ???????? ?????? ????????? ESCWA - Rami Zaatari Marwan Tarazi Regional Network for Learning Innovation in the Arab World
1600-1730 Contact Tania Zaroubi for Lebanon's strategy ESCWA - Sukaina Al-Nasrawi ESCAP - Suk Rhee To be confirmed
1600-1730   AITRS - National Statistical Offices To be contacted Tarek Shawki (UNESCO) To be contacted
1600-1730     Nawar Al-Awa (Damascus University) Title not provided
22
2009 Main IS Event in Western Asia (4)
Draft Agenda - Day 2 - 17/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 2 - 17/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 2 - 17/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 2 - 17/06/2009
Time Slot Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
0900-1100 Digital Arabic Content Community Telecentres ICT Applications
0900-1100 Nabil Ali Abdul Aziz (Pico Advanced Multilingual Systems) To be provided Nasser Khalaf (National IT Center - Jordan) Community Centres for Sustainable Development Abdulilah Dewachi (Qatar) Addressing national shortages in skilled human resources
0900-1100 Mohamed El-Sharkawi (Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage) Documentation of the Arab World Memory Status and Future Paulette Assaf (Cisco - Levant) Connected Communities Business Initiative Model in Lebanon Fadi Abdulhamid (TAGI - Syria) eReadiness Framework for E-Government and e-Commerce Implementations - Theoretical Framework
0900-1100 ESCWA Ahmed Eisa Impact of Telecentres (GDCO) in Community Development through ICT ICTDAR Development of ICT Applications in Arabic
0900-1100   Noureldin Cheikh Obeid Syrian Community Telecenters and Their Contribution to Development Fadi Salem (Dubai School of Government) To be contacted
0900-1100   ESCWA  
1100-1130 Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
1130-1300 ICT Sector ICT/Media Convergence ICT in Education
1130-1300 Jawad Jalal Abbassi (Arab Advisors Group - UAE) Overview of the Arab Telecom and Internet Broadband Markets Robert Madi (Mindshare - Lebanon) Convergence of ICT and Media Haif Banayan (Jordan Education Initiative) To be contacted - e-mail failed
1130-1300 Hisham Qattan (Jordan Computer Society) To be contacted   UNESCO To be contacted
1130-1300 ESCWA - Gaby Deek To be contacted    
1130-1300      
1130-1300      
1300-1430 Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break
1430-1600 Women in the Information Society Internet Governance/ADNS Arab GAID Network
1430-1600 Salam Yamout (Women in IT) Using ICT to Empower Women and Youth Charles Sha'Ban (TAGI) Update on the IGF-MAG Work GAID
1430-1600 Claudia Morrell (MDWIT) Building Capacity for Development through Women and ICTs Baher Ismat (ICANN) To be contacted (already invited as a participant) E-education ???????
1430-1600 Nada Hamzi (Women in Technology) To be contacted Abdel Aziz Al Zoman To be contacted Poverty reduction?????
1430-1600 Bahjat Youssef (Dubai Women's Office) Center for Women and Technology for the Arab Region Iba's Uwasheq ????????  
1430-1600 ESCWA ESCWA  
23
2009 Main IS Event in Western Asia (5)
Draft Agenda - Day 3 - 18/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 3 - 18/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 3 - 18/06/2009 Draft Agenda - Day 3 - 18/06/2009
Time Slot Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
0900-1100 Security and Trust Investments/Economic Crisis Empowering Youth through ICT
0900-1100 Hoda Baraka (MOICT Egypt) Towards an e-safety agenda in the Arab World Khater Abou Habib (Kafalat - Lebanon) To be contacted Ziad Haddara (ICTDAR) Engaging Youth in Local Development through Responsible Citizenship
0900-1100 Elie Mikhael (MOSA - Lebanon) Protection of Children from Internet Exploitation Nicholas Rouhana (Berytech) Development of an enabling environment for ICT in Lebanon IDRC Youth and Employability - To be contacted
0900-1100 Khedija Ghariani (AICTO) To be contacted Samir Aita To be contacted  
0900-1100 ESCWA    
0900-1100      
1100-1130 Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
1130-1300 Public Private Partnerships Legal Framework/Cyber Legislation ICT for Development
1130-1300 George Akiki (Partnership for Lebanon/Cisco) PPP Model - Partnership for Lebanon Younis Arab (Arab L_at_w Group) ????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ????????? Najat Rochdi ICT to Address Local Development
1130-1300   Mona Jabbour (Lebanese University) Legal Informatics Center and Access to Legal Information IDRC Regional Capcacity in ICT4D - To be contacted
1130-1300   Sami Sharaf To be contacted Nadia Hegazi (MCIT Egypt) Job creation in the Information Society
1130-1300   Wassim Harb To be contacted Krikor Ajemian (Amman Chmaber of Commerce) The Role of Chambers of Commerce in Bridging the Digital Divide
1130-1300     ESCWA - ICT for MDGs Georges Younes
1300-1430 Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break
1430-1600 Plenary Plenary Plenary
1430-1600 GAID Arab Network Yousef Nusseir GAID Arab Network Yousef Nusseir GAID Arab Network Yousef Nusseir
1430-1600 RPOA Update Mansour Farah RPOA Update Mansour Farah RPOA Update Mansour Farah
1430-1600      
1430-1600      
1430-1600      
1600-1630 Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
1630-1700 Closing Closing Closing
1630-1700      
1630-1700      
1630-1700      
1630-1700      
1630-1700      
24
2009 Main IS Event in Western Asia (6)
Register for the Conference, by 1 June
2009 Registration form available
at http//www.escwa.un.org/information/meetingd
etails.asp?referenceNum850E
25
Questions?
26
Thank you
Georges Younes Representing UN-ESCWA
(ICTD) younesg_at_un.org Geneva - 19 May 2009
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