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Promoting Digital Arabic Content in the ESCWA Region



The digital content industry provides vast opportunities for investment in the Arab region. Despite the numerous challenges that face the development of this industry in the Arab region, the opportunities of success are extensive, given the increased use of the Internet for socioeconomic activities and the presence of more than three hundred million Arabic speakers.

With the above in mind, and in order to promote the Digital Arabic Content (DAC) industry, the Information and Communication Technology Division (ICTD) at ESCWA launched in 2007 a project entitled "Promotion of the Digital Arabic Content Industry through Incubation", which aims to contribute to the growth of the DAC industry in Western Asia by supporting and promoting the development of DAC applications in ICT incubation facilities. This project follows a series of activities that were initiated in 2003 by the "Arabic Content Initiative". 

Objectives and Outcomes
The immediate objectives of the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) are to a) present and discuss several studies that were prepared by ESCWA for the promotion of the digital Arabic content industry; b) set the framework for cooperation and partnership with incubators in the ESCWA region; and c) launch the incubation preparatory process with various ICT incubators in the region.

The aforementioned studies cover the following:

-    A Survey on Digital Arabic Content: software, applications and needs assessment;
-   Models for Business Plan, Marketing and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for the Digital Arabic Content Industry;
-    Hardware & Hardware & Software Incubation Requirements and Training Needs.

The outcomes expected of the EGM are:

(1)   Increased awareness of ICT incubators on the importance of developing and promoting the DAC industry in the region;
(2)   Consensus on the domains, sectors and applications which are of interest to the development of the DAC industry;
(3)   Adoption of the business and partnership models;
(4)   Setting the framework of cooperation with selected incubators.


-Overview of the project "Promotion of the digital Arabic content industry through incubation" (in Arabic)
ESCWA Studies on Digital Arabic Content
-Digital Arabic content survey: Software, applications, and needs assessment  (in Arabic)
-Digital Arabic content industries: Models for business programmes, and marketing and multi-stakeholder partnership plans (in Arabic)
-Promoting digital Arabic content in the ESCWA region:  Incubation requirements and training needs
Digital Arabic Content - R&D Point of View
-Arabic speech & language processing: Tools & resources
-Arabic content: Access problem


Incubator Experiences in the ESCWA region
-Berytech incubator in Lebanon:  Nurturing Arabic content - the role of business development centers
-Egypt: R&D Centers of excellence and incubation programs
-Syria: ICT incubator
-Saudi Arabia: Technology incubators and innovation system in Saudi Arabia (in Arabic)
-Palestine ICT incubator – PICTI
-Jordan innovation centre: Technological business incubator at Philadelphia University
Cooperation between ESCWA and Incubators
-Implementation of the project  "Promotion of the digital Arabic content industry through incubation":  Cooperation between ESCWA and technology incubators in the region (in Arabic)
-Implementation of the project  "Promotion of the digital Arabic content industry through incubation":  DAC project competition – models and criteria (in Arabic) 

Additional information
Further information is available within the EGM's Information Note. Submissions, inquiries and requests for additional information should be addressed to:
Dr. Nibal Idlebi,
Team Leader
ICT Division, ESCWA
PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961-1-981301 ext. 1540
Fax: +961-1-981510
Ms. Hania Dimassi,
Research Assistant
ICT Division, ESCWA
PO Box 11-8575, Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961-1-981301 ext. 1542
Fax: +961-1-981510