The Arab Information and Communications Technologies Organization (AICTO), the government agency which falls under the Arab League, is responsible for ensuring ICT development in the Arab world. At the 13th edition of the Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit, the largest VIP ICT gathering, Telecom Review secured an interview with AICTO’s Secretary-General, Eng. Mohammed Ben Amor, to discuss one of the industry’s pressing issues in the Middle East: digital inclusion.
AICTO’s strategy is to ensure balanced ICT development in the region’s less developed countries. In reference to this, Mohamed Ben Amor said, “The Arab world could be classified into three parts: the highly developed region which is the Gulf, then there’s the developing countries which are in the middle zone such as Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon and the third region is composed of mainly less developed counties such as Palestine and Mauretania.”
Addressing digital inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa is one of the key areas of AICTO’s strategy. Ben Amor explained that AICTO has been putting a considerable amount of effort into helping the less developed countries within the region.
“This is very important because digital inclusion will bring these countries into the digital age and help initiate their digital transformation,” he said.
He added, “We are working on a number of programs which are related to enhancing security and encouraging more discussions on digital trust because when we use the word ‘security’, it could have a fearful effect on the masses so we prefer to use the word ‘trust’ instead in an effort to facilitate integration. Our approach is learn and benefit from the advancements of the Gulf region and use the resources from the developing countries, which are actually quite rich in resources, then apply them to the less developed counties.”
AICTO plans to continue its work in the Arab world’s less developed regions, in order to provide them with the right foundation to create their own policies and develop their own infrastructure.
“We have been working on developing special programs for this in an effort to show these countries that ICTs could add a great of value and encourage further development,” remarked Ben Amor.
When asked about the summit, he stated, “This is the fourth time that I attend Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit and it has been a very good opportunity for me because there are a lot of leaders from the region who we can learn a lot from. That’s why I always make sure to attend this summit. It is an opportunity to learn and do some great networking. This year, I am very pleased with the level of discussions and panels which have been organized. I would like to congratulate Telecom Review and I sincerely hope that you will continue to succeed so that you could share with us all of these successful experiences and provide insight to the countries who are in need for them.”