Regional updates: Middle East and North Africa

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What were the main digital policy regional updates in the Middle East and North Africa region? This space brings you the main updates month by month, summarised by the observatory's curators.

Follow the GIP's June 2019 briefing on Internet governance, which will include updates from the MENA region during June. Register to attend.

July 2019

Curated by Hanane Boujemi

Misk Funding Initiative
9 Aug 2019 |  Emerging technologies

Innovative business start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region could receive cash injections of up to USD$ 1 million as part of Misk – a newly launched growth initiative.

Technology start-ups will be given the opportunity to participate in a three-month training programme aimed at fast-tracking promising young entrepreneurs to achieving their business goals. The Misk Foundation has launched its growth accelerator scheme for MENA technology start-ups in partnership with innovation investor organisations Seedstars and Vision Ventures.

Each company selected to take part in the project will receive an initial USD$ 100 000 with the chance of a follow-up USD$1 million.

Apple to launch Arabic-only AppStore
17 Jul 2019 |  Emerging technologies

Apple will launch an all-Arabic AppStore service in September, as part of a bid to tap the Middle Eastern technology market. While the number of Arabic-specific apps remains small, Apple reportedly hopes to tap a growing technology market in the region.

The Arabic language-only AppStore was recently made available to subscribed developers and members of the Apple Beta software programme. These groups of the developers will test the new system before it is released to the general public in the next two months. This launch will coincide with the release of Apple’s latest operating software, IOS-13.

Light communication technology
31 Jul 2019 |  Telecommunications infrastructure, Emerging technologies

The Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) has become the regional founding member of the Light Communications Alliance (LCA) – a newly launched global consortium of communications, lighting, infrastructure, and device manufacturing industry leaders. The consortium aims at promoting new wireless technologies to enable light communications (LC). The LCA will also establish and advocate the use of global standards for this emerging industry.

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