ICT development to enhance Algeria's performance in multiple sectors

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Advances in the digital environment have been key to Algeria’s recent rise in global economic and development indices. The country was named the “most dynamic” Arab market in the ICT Development Index 2016, released by the UN’s International Telecommunications Union, rising nine places to 103rd out of 175 countries. Algeria has prioritised IT and ICT enhancement as a cornerstone of the national plan to become a regional technological leader. Media is also playing a part in raising awareness of the importance of the expanding digital segment, supported by a growing number of younger, tech-savvy Algerians.

Internet Of Things

The improvement of the digital landscape is expected to have a significant impact on existing uses of technology. “Following global trends, Algeria will most likely move towards the internet of things,” Ali Azzouz, director-general of local internet service provider Icosnet, told OBG. Proponents of the internet of things say such an approach will lead to the dematerialisation of services, subsequently reducing material expenditure and providing cost-effective budgetary management while boosting capacity for the private sphere and business sector.

Cloud computing has become a major feature for business operations in recent times, while the growing costs associated with hosting in Europe is moving investors to search for alternative, less expensive markets. Given its bandwidth capacity and connection speeds provided by submarine cables, Algeria has the potential to be an attractive destination for international businesses. The development of the digital economy also coincides with upgrades to the country’s infrastructure. Deployment of improved fibre-optic services will boost the development of local apps, along with other digital services such as maps and GPS devices.

Tools Of Connection

Looking beyond GPS and intranet mailing, businesses are moving increasingly towards the interconnection of activities through the use of centralised services. In sectors such as agriculture, health and transport this trend is supporting further economic diversification, with smart irrigation services and the deployment of optimising sensors among the examples where interconnected services have assisted businesses. With the fall in oil prices leading to limitations on the imports entering the country, a number of local firms have begun to develop, leading to the creation of new apps and alternative business solutions. Digital stakeholders have called for financial incentives to be introduced and industry regulations to be enforced to allow start-ups and new entrepreneurs to gain market access.

Research Visibility

Algeria’s ability to showcase its growing tech capacity on an international level is improving thanks to the development of its education institutions, with the country hosting research agencies that are gaining worldwide recognition. The Research Centre for Scientific and Technical Information was ranked 10th among Arab countries in Webometrics’ 2017 research centre rankings, while the Centre for the Development of Advanced Technologies – which acts as an incubator, guiding entrepreneurs and start-ups from developing technological ideas to the materialisation of products or services – was 22nd.

IT is also being put to use in the field of higher education field to expand access to tertiary education and build the skills base the country needs as it diversifies into a knowledge-based economy. At the end of 2016 the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research launched an e-masters degree pilot programme at five universities. Each institution will offer a specialised course responding to local labour market needs. Reinforcing the government’s plans to enhance e-government services, Constantine University 1 will provide a local administration course to ensure a ready workforce to develop such systems and support public access to them. Investing in such facilities and technologies in the near to medium term will be key to the country developing an innovative, modern economy.

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The Report: Algeria 2017

ICT chapter from The Report: Algeria 2017

The Report: Algeria 2017

The Report

This article is from the ICT chapter of The Report: Algeria 2017. Explore other chapters from this report.

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