AICTO Magazine "SMART" | 04 - 2021

AICTO is pleased to publish the fourth edition of its Magazine “SMART” entitled “New Digital Financial Services for SDGs”

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HE. Eng. Mohamed ben Amor, Director General of the Arab ICT Organization, met with HE. Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, on the 2nd of September 2021 at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the League in Cairo – Arab Republic of Egypt.

This meeting represented an opportunity to talk about the career of AICTO and its important role in developing the digital sector and accompanying the technological transformations taking place in the region. It also constituted an opportunity to discuss the attendance of HE the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and his auspice of the Arab CyberSecurity Forum which will be organized by AICTO on October 21 and 22, 2021 in the Republic of Tunisia, and during which the Arab strategic vision for Cbersecurity will be launched.

It is worthy to mention that the Arab ICT Organization is currently supervising the elaboration of the Arab strategic vision for Cybersecurity by a group of Arab experts.

This vision is aiming to achieve Arab integration, protect and secure Arab societies and economies, and confront all challenges resulting from piracy and the unsafe use of cyberspace.

During this meeting, His Excellency Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, affirmed the permanent and continuous support of the LAS for the organization as it represents the League’s executive body in the field of communication and information technologies.

From his side, His Excellency Eng. Mohamed ben Amor – Director-General of the organization, praised the efforts deployed by the LAS to support the organization and contribute to the development of the field of communication and information technologies and the achievement of sustainable development goals.

The Arab ICT Organization held On August 17, 2021, the second preparatory meeting with the Libyan General Authority for Communications and Informatics in order to prepare the works of the “International Conference on Building Digital Libya”, to be held from 26 to 28 October in the Republic of Tunisia.

This conference will be organized under the auspices of the League of Arab States, the Ministry of Communication Technologies in the Republic of Tunisia, and the Ministry of Economy and Industries in the State of Libya. This important event will also witness wide participation of many partners from the public and private sectors and at the international level, in addition to representatives of the competent international authorities, such as the Libyan Post and Information Technology Holding Company, the Central Bank of Libya, the Libya Trade Company, the General Information Authority, the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts UTICA…

The works of the meeting were chaired by H.E. Eng. Mohamed ben Amor, Director General of the Arab ICT Organization, in the presence of AICTO’s team, and from the Libyan side, the Director of the Electronic Services Department at the Public Authority for Communications and Informatics and the head of the preparation team for the conference, Dr. Abdul Rahman Abu Dabra and the rest of the team members.

The organization of this conference falls within the framework of AICTO’s initiative “The Arab Digital Investment Map” and its will to provide support and assistance to the State of Libya in rebuilding its infrastructure in the field of ICT, in building and developing its human capacities, and in setting stimulating legislation and regulatory frameworks, in addition, to implement the decision of the League of Arab States No. 7073 aiming to assist the State of Libya by providing the support and needs of the Libyan people in various fields to overcome the delicate transitional phase that the country is going through.

This conference aims to assist the State of Libya in developing a roadmap to build a sustainable digital economy in harmony with the global economy and adopts the exploitation and use of all modern technological means and solutions.

several outputs are expected to emerge from the conference, the most important of which are: the development of an integrated national digital strategy for communications, as well as a vision for structuring the communications infrastructure, the development of programs to develop Libyan competencies in the field of communications and information technology, and others to develop the legal and regulatory frameworks for the sector.

A delegation from the Arab ICT Organization chaired by its Director-General HE. Eng. Mohamed ben Amor participated in the meetings of the 51st  Ordinary Session of the Higher Coordination Committee for Joint Arab Action chaired by His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States on July 8, 2021, in the new city of El Alamein in the Arab Republic of Egypt which was hosted by the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.

This session was held under the title “Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, and the Role of Arab Business Institutions” and dealt with extensive discussions of the topics at hand, foremost of which is digital transformation and the development of an Arab framework to confront electronic piracy and artificial intelligence.

One of the most important recommendations issued by this session is to welcome the initiative of the Arab ICT Organization to organize the Forum on launching the Arab Strategic Vision for Cyber Security on September 7, 2021, in Tunis under the auspices of His Excellency the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and in cooperation with the joint Arab action institutions and the Arab countries wishing to collaborate.

This meeting was preceded by the meetings of the Technical Committee of the Higher Coordination Committee for Joint Arab Action on July 6 and 7, 2021, which were chaired by His Excellency the Deputy Secretary-General – Head of the Economic Sector of the League of Arab States.

This session witnessed the participation of a set of Excellencies the Deputy Secretaries of the League of Arab States, directors of Arab Unions and specialized organizations, and joint Arab action institutions.

1 July 2021, ISTANBUL – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization (AICTO). The MoU outlines how the organizations will work together to support the use of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) and to promote Universal Acceptance (UA) in the region. Together, this collaboration will contribute to maintaining a more secure and resilient Domain Name System (DNS) at both the regional and global levels.

IDNs enable people around the world to use domain names and email addresses in local languages and scripts, including those in Arabic (e.g., تونس بريد@مثال.موقع). Universal Acceptance is key to supporting this use by ensuring that all domain names and email addresses – regardless of script, language, or character length – are accepted equally by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. This includes supporting all IDN country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), as well as new and long generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

When UA is achieved, Arabic-speaking Internet users will be able to navigate and communicate on the Internet using a chosen domain name and email address that best aligns with their interests, business, culture, language, and script. It also has important economic and social benefits by increasing an end user’s ability to access and connect to e-commerce, local communities, and public services.

“The use of Arabic language top-level domain names remains below the potential of the regional market and its ambitions. The recognition of the Arabic language by major email platforms also remains low in comparison with what is done with other main languages in the world. This shows what we call ‘digital linguistic divide or gap’,” said H.E. Mohamed Ben Amor, General Manager of AICTO. “The AICTO, with the contribution and the expertise of ICANN, will be able to mobilize all the necessary resources at the regional scale to reposition the Arabic language at its true value and so to fill this gap. This effort will certainly have positive economic impacts on the regional ecosystem.”

“The Internet can be local and global at the same time,” said Göran Marby, President and CEO of ICANN. “This is a great opportunity for ICANN organization and AICTO to work together to help the Arabic speaking communities access the Internet in their local languages and scripts. It is an equally important opportunity for us to collaborate with AICTO to further improve the trust and confidence in the Internet at the regional level.”

Some of the joint activities that will be explored under the MoU, include organizing UA training and capacity-building events for relevant stakeholders in the Arab states. More information on these events will be released at a later date.

The full Memorandum of Understanding can be viewed here.

If your organization is interested in coordinating with ICANN on UA-related initiatives, please email uaprogram@icann.org.

 

About AICTO
The Arab ICT Organization (AICTO) is a specialized Arab governmental organization working under the aegis of the league of Arab States. It aims at developing ICTs throughout the Arab region and providing the necessary mechanisms to support cooperation and complementarity between AICTO members, promote and enrich common policies and strategies to develop vital technological domains. AICTO is working with all stakeholders in the Arab region and other international partners to spread fair and sustainable access to technology and adapt it to serve the goals of economic development and achieve social advancement over the region.

About ICANN
ICANN’s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

Within the framework of one’s of its strategy axes “digital financial inclusion” The Arab ICT Organization presented by its Director-General HE. Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor signed a memorandum of understanding with “STB” BANK presented by its Director-General Mr. Mohamed Chouikha in order to set up a strategy for financial digital inclusion and for a rapprochement between the banking sector and the technology sector to further developing their services and providing innovative digital financial services to citizens.

It is worthy to mention that this cooperation agreement is a concretization of a long-term collaboration between AICTO and STB mainly within the scope of the initiative launched by AICTO in 2018 : Excellence Awards for the Best Arab Digital Financial Institutions” with the aim to showcase the efforts of financial institutions in the field of digital transformation and the adoption of digital solutions to improve the quality of their financial services provided to clients. STB is one of the outstanding banks in digital transformation in the Arab region and this was the reason to be a double award winning : Best Digital Bank in North Africa and Tunisia during the Ceremony of the second edition of the “Excellence Awards For the Best Arab Digital Financial Institutions for the year 2020-2021” held on May 28, 2021, in Beirut – the Republic of Lebanon.

The Arab ICT Organization AICTO held on Wednesday 02/06/2021 the 18th  session of its General Assembly via video conference.

This session was chaired by HE. Dr. Ishaq Sider, Minister of Telecom and Information Technology at the State of Palestine, in the presence of the Chairman of AICTO’s Executive Council, HE. Mr. Amir Al-Bayati – Republic of Iraq, and the delegations of the following countries: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Tunisia, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Iraq, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Palestine, the State of Qatar, the State of Libya, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Republic of Yemen, in addition to the representative of the Secretariat General of the League of Arab States – the Economic Sector – HE. Minister Plenipotentiary / Mr. Mohamed Kheir, Director of the Arab Organizations and Federations Department.

During this meeting, the recommendations of the 24th session of the Executive Council were reviewed, and AICTO’s action plan and budget for the year 2022 were approved.

Also, the confidence was renewed in the current Executive Council of the organization chaired by HE. Mr. Amir Al-Bayati from the Republic of Iraq and HE. Mr. Ihab Sobeih as Council’s deputy chairman from the State of Palestine and the following members: the Republic of Tunisia, the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Iraq, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Palestine, the State of Libya, and the Arab Republic of Egypt.

This session of AICTO’s General Assembly witnessed for the first time the participation of the State of Qatar, which has recently joined the organization.

All Attendees to this meeting recognized the Palestinian people for their heroic steadfastness in the face of repeated and brutal attacks by the occupying power, and they highly valued the victories recently achieved by the Palestinian people in the context of their legitimate right to defend, restore their lands and protect their holy sites.

The Arab ICT Organization held the meetings of the 24th session of its Executive Council on Tuesday 01/06/2021, via video conference.

This session was chaired by the Chairman of the Executive Council HE. Mr. Amir Al-Bayati _ the Republic of Iraq in the presence of all its members representatives of the following countries: the Republic of Tunisia, Republic of The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Republic of Iraq, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Palestine, the State of Libya and the Arab Republic of Egypt, in addition to the representative of the General Secretariat of the League of States – the Economic Sector – HE. Minister Plenipotentiary / Mr. Mohamed Kheir, Director of the Arab Organizations and Federations Department.

During the meeting, the activity report of the organization for the period from January 2020 to May 2021 was reviewed, in addition to the AICTO’s action plan for the remainder of the year 2021, and the action plan and budget for the year 2022 were also discussed.

The Arab ICT Organization AICTO and the Union of Arab Banks UAB organized the second edition of the “Excellence Awards For the Best Arab Digital Financial Institutions for the year 2020-2021” on May 28, 2021, in Beirut – the Republic of Lebanon, and it is worth noting that the first edition of the award was organized In Tunis – Tunisia on March 8, 2019.

Within this context, HE. Eng. Mohamed ben Amor _ Director-General of the Arab ICT Organization stressed during his welcoming speech the entitlement of honoring these financial institutions and praise their exerted and exceptional efforts, especially during the Corona crisis.

He also expressed his sincere thanks to all these institutions for their keenness to maintain the continuity of their work and ensuring the safety of customers in all countries and regions by resorting to the digital alternative to provide their services.

The Director-General of AICTO pointed out that this initiative launched by the organization in collaboration with the Union of Arab Banks in 2018, was addressed mainly to Arab banks in order to introduce their efforts in the field of digital transformation and the adoption of digital solutions to improve the quality of their financial services provided to clients.

The current edition of the award is distinguished by a new specificity through the involvement of the postal sector alongside the bank sector in order to highlight the steady development of postal digital financial services in many Arab countries in recent years.

The second edition will continue to highlight and follow the efforts of Arab financial institutions (including the two sectors, banking, and postal services), in developing digital strategies aiming at improving and providing innovative digital financial services in order to achieve leadership in the field, gain customer loyalty, and contribute to global efforts towards achieving financial inclusion.

This ceremony witnessed a wide participation of diplomats and high-level officials in the economic and media fields, in addition to the attendance of many distinguished and active personalities in the banking and technology fields from the Arab region.