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Digital Arabic Content

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ESCWA has paid special attention to the subject of digital Arabic content (DAC), its promotion and industry support. DAC is important for various reasons, for instance it fosters linguistic and cultural diversity on the Internet, improves access to and benefit from the Internet, and preserves Arabic cultural and historical archives in digital form. DAC also contributes to socioeconomic development because of the existence of a market for DAC products and opportunities thereof for start-ups specialized in DAC product development. ESCWA’s interest is in line with the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society and its 10-year review process.
 
Within the framework of ESCWA’s digital Arabic content initiative, a series of activities have been implemented since 2003 including studies, expert meetings, workshops, regional conferences, and partnerships. The studies have touched on policy aspects, technical matters, surveys, and the business side. ESCWA collaborated with business incubators and universities in several Arab countries to organize awareness-raising campaigns on the importance of DAC and launch innovative competitions aimed at entrepreneurs aspiring to establish DAC companies. The national competitions were launched in two rounds; the first in 2008 and second in 2013 under the title "Thinking digital? Let’s innovate in Arabic!" covering the following countries: Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. ESCWA continues its efforts in this regard through the Regional Digital Arabic Content Forum content which has been organized every year since 2013 in partnership with regional/national actors.