Access for Women, E-Government, Inclusion for Refugees at Heart of New ‘Internet for All’ Partnership of World Economic Forum and Government of Jordan

21 May 2017

Published
21 May 2017
2017
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Georg Schmitt, Lead, Corporate Affairs and Foundations, Public Engagement, Email: georg.schmitt@weforum.org

· Government of Jordan to partner with World Economic Forum on the Internet for All project

· Project will increase internet use by focusing on women’s online access, developing better Arabic language content and strengthening e-government services

· Internet for All projects are already running in Argentina, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda

· The project also aims to help refugees integrate into society by making better use of the internet

· More about the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa: http://wef.ch/mena17

Dead Sea, Jordan, 21 May 2017 – The World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Government of Jordan, today announced the launch of a new platform project called “Jordan Internet for All”, which aims to bring millions of Jordanians, including women and isolated communities, onto the internet for the first time through new models of public-private collaboration.

The project, which is aligned with Jordan’s Digital Transformation Strategy, will address the barriers that prevent universal internet access. This will be done by focusing on helping women to access the internet, facilitating the development of more relevant online content in Arabic, and improving e-government services. There will also be a workstream for helping refugees to integrate into Jordanian society through use of the internet.

Majd Shweikeh, Jordan’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, said: “Internet for All will help accelerate the Government of Jordan’s Digital Transformation Strategy through innovative partnerships focused on adoption and proper internet usage. We are very pleased to partner with the World Economic Forum, as well as local and international firms and organizations, to bring a fulfilling digital life to more people in Jordan.”

Internet for All is a global project of the World Economic Forum that accelerates internet access and adoption through a multistakeholder platform. Global and regional companies are working with governments, civil society, academia and international organizations to develop and scale new internet access models, attract and coordinate investments, and align programming.

Commenting on the initiative, Ahmed Hanandeh, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Jordan, said: “Everyone deserves access to the opportunities of the internet. At Zain, we are well aware of the transformational power connectivity plays in improving the quality of life of people and communities, and we look forward to this latest public-private partnership bolstering our efforts to foster the growth of Jordan’s digital and general economy. We see this initiative acting as a catalyst in accelerating socio-economic growth and creating more jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the growing youth population, while enhancing the livelihoods of the many refugees residing in Jordan.”

Country-level Internet for All platforms are already operating in Argentina, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, where they have so far succeeded in developing major projects such as the Digital Ambassadors Program, a skills development activity that will train 5,000 trainers who will work in rural Rwanda to teach digital skills to 5 million people.

Janet Longmore, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Opportunity Trust, an organization involved in the programme, said: “We are delighted to leverage our partnership with the Ministry of ICT to transform Jordan’s network of Knowledge Stations into Digital Creativity Labs and to integrate the Digital Ambassadors Program into this network. Young women and men as digital ambassadors and job creators will be placed in these vibrant digital community centres, to boost access to creative technology, e-government services and the digital economy. Inclusion of girls and women as digital champions and beneficiaries is a key priority for the programme.”

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