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MENA ICT forum to examine current challenges facing sector

By Mohammad Ghazal - Sep 09,2014 - Last updated at Sep 09,2014

AMMAN — Local, regional and international ICT experts are scheduled to convene in Amman in November to discuss the latest technology advancements that have a direct impact on the way people work and live, organisers said Tuesday. 

During the MENA ICT Forum 2014, to be held under the title “Disruptive Technologies”, participants will also discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in the field, including the drop in telecom company revenues due to an increase in the usage of data at the expense of voice services, according to organisers. 

More than 1,200 experts are expected to take part in the event. 

Marwan Juma, head of the forum’s  organising committee, said the two-day event, which starts on November 12, will address industry concerns like current developments related to small- and medium-sized enterprises, and facilitate opportunities to establish partnerships with global stakeholders.

Several activities will be held on the sidelines of the forum, such as the Entrepreneurship Café by Oasis500, the App Challenge, the Games Summit, Catalysing Conversations, Mix n’ Mentor and Amman TT Forum Edition, Juma said at a press conference.

The event is organised by the ICT Association of Jordan ([email protected]) and the ICT Ministry with the support of USAID and the country’s telecom operators. 

ICT Minister Azzam Sleit said the forum will take place at the King Hussein Business Park under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah. 

“This event contributes to the development of the local and regional ICT sector and it helps towards making Jordan as an ICT hub,” the minister added. 

Speaking at the press conference, Zain Jordan CEO Ahmad Hanandeh said the forum comes at a time when all telecom operators are going through many challenges. 

“At present, we need increased investments to develop the infrastructure, especially the Internet, to meet the increasing demand on data consumption,” Hanandeh noted. 

“This is a transitional period for all operators and we must keep up with the latest technologies,” he added. 

Umniah CEO Ihab Hinnawi had a similar opinion, saying the forum is an opportunity to explore enhancing public-private partnerships. 

“The sector is witnessing developments at a rapid pace and discussions will cover the future and the need to keep abreast with these changes,” he said. 

Orange Jordan CEO Jean-Francois Thomas said the forum provides an opportunity for exchanging expertise and ideas on how to tackle challenges, offering a platform to build partnerships in the sector. 

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