Thursday, September 24, 2020

Bahrain to explore opportunities and challenges in the Arab Countries Internet Sector

RIPE NCC holds roundtable meeting in Bahrain to explore opportunities and challenges in the Arab Countries Internet Sector

  • Session aimed at highlighting impact made on the economy and security of Arab countries
  • Meeting sees participation of Ministers of Communications and Seniors of Arab Telecommunications Regulators and Information Technology

RIPE NCC successfully organized a roundtable meeting of Arab telecommunications ministries and Arab ICT regulatory bodies recently at the Ritz-Carlton, Manama in Bahrain. The meeting, which was opened by His Excellency Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammad, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Kingdom of Bahrain. Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of RIPE NCC, discussed key ways on how to drive in more development and economic growth for the Arab region’s Internet sector. Additionally, the roundtable addressed the challenges posed by cyberthreats and cybercrime—especially across cyberattacks on governments and internet service providers (ISPs) in the Arab countries.

H.E. Mohammad, the Bahraini Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications pointed out the significance of the meeting as an interactive platform aimed at discussing the most important issues affecting the current and future status of the Internet sector, which is currently the cornerstone of the development of the economies of countries around the world. He stressed on the importance of the extensive discussions, which looks towards developing effective and efficient solutions to emerging and potential challenges to ensure maximum protection against cyber threats and cybercrime faced by governments and Internet service providers in Arab countries.

H.E. Minister Mohammad added: “We are pleased to host such a quality-focused forum in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which reflects the advanced steps we have taken to provide an ideal environment for attracting investment in the field of communications and information technology in order to build an integrated knowledge economy. We look forward to working closely with the Ministers of Communications and the heads of the regulatory bodies in the Arab world in the effort to develop innovative and effective guidelines and standards to accelerate the growth of this vital sector—employing advanced technology in support of the growth, prosperity and advancement of our nations and societies.”

As for Axel Pawlik, Managing Director, RIPE NCC: “Through these roundtable sessions and similar events that we are constantly organizing, RIPE NCC is committed to actively contributing to advancing the development of the Internet sector in the Arab region and to discuss all the issues and plans related to this sector, especially in terms of challenges and opportunities. We are steadfast in our efforts to find effective solutions to the emerging obstacles in this sector as we seek to develop it in line with the highest international standards. We are making continuous efforts in cooperation with governments and other members to adopt a clear methodology that contributes to the common objectives of developing the sector and adopting the latest technology for the Internet.”

The meeting was attended by H.E. Eng. Loutfi Bashareef, Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications of Yemen, in addition to several governors, deputy governors and managers from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Yemen and the director of Telecom Bureau in GCC H.E. Eng. Mahmood Sayyar. The event included several sessions that explored the technical challenges facing the Internet sector as well as Internet resources in the Arab region and capacity building initiatives aimed at supporting the further development of the Internet community in the Arab world. H.E. Minister Mohammad and Pawlik, led the opening session with their call to further stress on the need to address key issues and support joined efforts to find effective solutions to the obstacles facing the Internet sector in the Arab region–employing all available resources to accelerate the growth of this sector.

The first panel discussion, which was entitled ‘Internet Resources in the Arab region,’ was led by Chris Buckridge and Paul Rendek from the RIPE NCC, and tackled the Global Management of Internet Resources, the RIPE NCC Policy Development Process, Management of the Internet Numbers in the Arab Region and IPv4 and IPv6 Address Assignment Policies and Statistics.

The second panel discussion was led by Marco Hogewoning, RIPE NCC, which centered on the IPv6 Innovation Opportunity for Business Development and Economic Growth. He also talked about the ‘Challenges and Opportunities of the Internet of Things (IoT).’ The sessions also covered the presentation of several case studies and successful stories from leading industry expert; Dr. Ebraheem Al-Furaih, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Internet Services at CITC, Saudi Arabia Eng. Abdul Rahman Al Marzouqi, Manager of the Internet Advancement Policies and Programs Department at TRA UAE and Jan Vannieuwenhuyse, Senior Engineer-Advisor, Strategy Numbering and Internet Governance at BIPT in Belgium. Meanwhile, Hisham Ibrahim from the RIPE NCC took part in the session talking about the Cyber Security Challenges in a Changing Number Resource Environment.

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