With the ever growing importance of convergence between the media and ICT, and thanks to the fast growing supply and demand rates in ICT sector along with the booming liberalization, investment and incentive-based policies, the Government of Egypt is implementing a strategic analysis on convergence and the enabling regulatory environment.
In this context the National Telecom Regulatory Authority NTRA in coordination with the infoDev/ World Bank hosted on 3 May 2006 a one-day workshop under the title 'Convergence of Media and ICT in Egypt: Challenges, Policies and Regulation'. The event was conducted by Professor Bill Melody and Mr. Ewan Sutherland, acclaimed infoDev consultants. Ms. Samia Melhem, infoDev Senior Operations Officer, was also among the presenters. The workshop brought together various stakeholders; Ministry of Information & Communication Technology (MCIT), NTRA, ITIDA and the private sector.
The World Bank Group's Global Information & Communication Technologies Department (GICT) plays an important role in developing and promoting access to information and communications technologies (ICT) in developing countries. Created in January 2000, GICT brings together the private investment practice of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the public sector advisory and funding arms of the World Bank, to provide governments, private companies and community organizations with the capital and expertise needed to develop and exploit ICT to reduce poverty and foster development.
The workshop was conducted in two parts:
a. The latest international best practices and lessons learned, relevant to the Egyptian context, as well as some orientations based on the analysis of the Egyptian situation will be proposed.
b. A debate between the stakeholders (MCIT, Ministry of Information, ITIDA, NTRA) and the identification of a common approach to convergence policy and regulation
The main interest for NTRA was the international experience in the regulation and the way the commercial and business issues are solved between the Media and the ICT sides. Case studies were crucial to demonstrate the feasibility of implementation.
The final discussion resulted in a common vision of the necessity to address the subject and a road map for what should be done next.
The outcome of this workshop will feed into the convergence conference being prepared by MCIT, which is considered a pre-event to the World Economic Forum, to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh from 20-22 May 2006.