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Monday, October 09, 2017

Digital Economy: ICANN studies e-friction, social media usage in 15 MENAT countries

The study on the status of the regional digital economy, entitled “Accelerating the Digital Economy in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey” by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has revealed that the study would focus on 410 million people living in 15 countries, reports ITRealms.

The study, ITRealms reports, identified the dynamics of the current digital economy and recommends points of development in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT), of which ICANN had commissioned a similar study in 2014 with the same aim in a global context: “Greasing the Wheels of the Digital Economy”.

ITRealms gathered that this study serves as part of ICANN's efforts to foster engagement between ICANN and the broader Internet community, and to help build a strong and competitive domain name industry in the region. The study focuses on 410 million people living in 15 countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

The ICANN’s Vice President of Global Stakeholder Engagement in the Middle East, Baher Esmat said, “It tackles issues such as social media usage, content in local language, Internet connectivity, Internet start-ups, e-friction and legislations in the Internet sphere.”

Esmat also said that ICANN commissioned the study to investigate the current status of the digital economy in the MENAT region and to outline the opportunities of growth in various areas, including the domain name market that could help us make better use of the digital potential in the region.

“We believe the recommendations that derive from this study provide a guide for policy makers and businesses to nurture digital transformation in the region,” he said.

The findings of the study indicate that there is a need for governments to lead by supporting long-term efforts in four areas, including “Provision of ubiquitous, affordable connectivity, availability of relevant content, building of digital capabilities, establishment of supportive policies and practices.”

ITRealms gathered that the study concluded that in order to enhance the digital economy of MENAT, a collective effort by all stakeholders, from public to private sector, is required.


“The study will be discussed in the upcoming ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Remote participants will be able to join this discussion here,” he said.

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