MENA ICT Forum 2016
The Middle East & North Africa Information & Communications Technology Forum 2016 held its most recent event 9th and 10th November 2016 at the King Hussein Business Park, Jordan. The Forum was launched under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein.
Forum participants, speakers and local and regional media representatives flocked to Jordan for the Forum, as Jordan becomes a preferred ICT destination for experts from all parts of the world.
The MENA ICT Forum has become the premier ICT industry event of the Middle East and North Africa region. Launched in 2002, it has been held biennially since its inception.
At November’s event, the opening session included speeches by Int@j Chairman, Bashar Hawamdeh, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Her Excellency Mrs. Majd Shweikeh, in addition to REACH 2025 representative, Karim Kawar.
First day sessions included ‘Digitizing the Economy’, ‘What does the industry need to grow?’, ‘Media: content is still king’, ‘Taking your SME global: growth hacking techniques for tech companies’, ‘Smart cities: cities of the future’, and ‘Financial services: cash, plastic or phone?’.
Second day sessions featured interactive discussions based upon the experiences of several countries with modern tech trends, in addition to digital economy best practices and how best to harness tech applications.
An entire session was dedicated to REACH 2025, the royal initiative to make Jordan relevant in the global digital economy based upon its existing strengths and opportunities, with the participation and presence of locally based experts.
Other sessions held on the second day included Healthcare IT, Digital economy infrastructure, Humanitarian causes: the world is a global village, Education: learning can be fun, and finally the REACH 2025 Action Plan to digitize the Jordanian economy.
Several agreements and partnerships were announced on the Forum’s last day, among which was the ‘One Thousand Entrepreneurs Initiative’, launched by Int@j in partnership with Nejmi.
The first private-sector organisations to offer support to the Int@j initiative included Umniah and Bank al Etihad.
Other significant events of note include:
- Zain-Microsoft partnership for supporting entrepreneurs;
- Partnership between Int@j and Orange promoting entrepreneurs, with support from the ‘Blue Ocean Council’;
- Agreement between MenaITech and Microsoft, offering specialist solutions and systems bundles in the MENA region;
- Launch of the Digital Opportunity Trust in Jordan;
- Partnership agreement between the Cairo Amman Bank and Oracle;
- First Jordanian pavilion launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona by Int@j, Zain, Al Manaseer Group, Qattous Group, Luminus Group, as well as the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program and Visit Jordan;
- Agreement between Int@j and the Algerian National Association for ANSEJ, CNAC, ANGEM beneficiaries and Young Investors along with shareholder Numidia Telecom.
Int@j has also announced the annual “National ICT Day” as of next year, a day which celebrates the importance of digitizing the economy across the Kingdom, including plans to hold events and awareness-raising sessions.
Int@j thanked Forum organisers, supporters, sponsors, speakers and media representatives in the closing session in the presence of the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Her Excellency Mrs. Majd Shweikeh.
About the Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan – Int@j
The Information and Communications Technology Association of Jordan – Int@j, is an ICT & IT Enabled Services (ITES) industry-support association founded in 2000, with the aim of improving the dynamics of Jordan’s ICT and ITES market, and developing Jordan’s ICT and ITES related activities. Members of the association vary from major ICT companies to smaller start-ups. Int@j enables, empowers, and helps develop these companies through offering its services through sectoral publications and its network of member companies, in addition to holding forums for the sector’s main players, providing capacity building opportunities, facilitating marketing, providing institutional services and consultations, and representing the sector in legal matters, in addition to contracting and implementing several development initiatives, forums, and conferences.