A set of recommendations by experts to boost the presence of Arabic language online marked the conclusion of the 4th Arab Digital Content Forum on Wednesday.
The forum that started on October 5 was organised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) under the auspices of the League of Arab States in collaboration with Communications Regulatory Authority of Qatar, the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organisation, the UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia and the ITU.
Among the key recommendations, according to an MoTC press statement, are the importance of developing and promoting Arabic domains for easier access to Arabic content, the importance of having a larger Arabic representation in world organisations and entities concerned with the field, the importance of unifying Arabs’ efforts to disseminate the content and the importance of sponsoring and supporting the projects that focus on encouraging innovation in developing and increasing the Arabic content online.
Other key recommendations include the importance of applying intellectual property protection laws to encourage investment in professional content, providing institutional and financial support to content developers, providing high quality Arabic content online to ensure easy access for Arabic speakers where they can express themselves and share their work in their own language.
The forum speakers also stressed the need for more investment in ICT infrastructure as well as in governments’ current health and economic priorities as the digital gap continues to widen.
It was cited that Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world and one of the six official languages of the UN. Arabic has nearly 13mn words. Around 422mn people speak Arabic around the world. Internet is used by roughly 100mn Arabs. However, according to the forum speakers, global reports say Arabic content online makes up only 3% of the overall world digital content.
The forum’s five online sessions revolved around the reality of Arabic digital content, the importance of Arabic digital content during crises, the future prospects of e-learning in the Arab region, the role of Arabic digital content within a smart nation, the Arabic digital content and entrepreneurship among youth and the impact of Artificial Intelligence on boosting the Arabic content.
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