King attends 2016 MENA ICT Forum

09 November 2016


REACH2025, a new initiative seeking to digitise Jordan’s economy and create some 150,000 new digital jobs by 2025, was launched Wednesday at the opening of the MENA ICT Forum 2016.

The initiative was launched in the presence of His Majesty King Abdullah, who attended the opening of the summit, which attracted scores of speakers, experts and officials from the sector from many countries.

The initiative, which is implemented in collaboration between public and private stakeholders, is spearheaded by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and the ICT Association of Jordan (int@j).

It seeks to realise a digital economy that empowers people, sectors and businesses to raise productivity and ensure growth and prosperity, creating a highly attractive business destination for investments and international partnerships.

“REACH2025 is a blueprint for Jordan’s digital economy. It seeks to accelerate growth, create jobs and develop human resources,” Minister of ICT Majd Shweikeh said at the forum.

She also announced a five-year plan to digitise all government services to streamline measure at the public sector.

Karim Kawar, representative of REACH2025, said the initiative is drawing from the experiences of other countries.

The plan seeks to create 5,000 to 7,000 businesses in digital economy by 2025, create 130,000 to 150,000 new jobs and boost the ICT sector’s revenues.

It aims at increasing the overall gross domestic product growth between 6 and 8 per cent.

The initiative seeks to create models to encourage women’s participation in digital economy and create a world-class talent pool to support and drive the digital economy demand locally and globally, Kawar added.

On start-ups and entrepreneurship, he said the blueprint is designed to encourage the creation of this category of companies in special zones and enable a culture of digital entrepreneurship, adding that focus will be on a variety of fields, including transport, health, education, communications, ICT security, finance and energy, among others.

In an address at the event, Bashar Hawamdeh, chairman of int@j, stressed the importance of the forum in providing a platform for exchanging ideas and expertise.

Hawamdeh said the digitisation of the economy is not an option, but the way forward for a better future and is key to development.

Several issues will be discussed during the forum, including smart cities, start-ups and online and mobile payments, among others