Egypt's PM urges IT industry to tackle food crisis

The ICT industry needs to do its part to help alleviate the current food crisis, according to the Prime Minister of Egypt Ahmed Nazif.

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The ICT industry needs to do its part to help alleviate the current food crisis, according to the Prime Minister of Egypt Ahmed Nazif.

On Sunday, during the opening ceremony at telecom conference ITU Telecom Africa 2008 - held in Egypt for the third time - he issued his call to arms.

"The world is facing an unprecedented crisis. It's affecting all nations, especially Africa, and its consequences will last for a long time to come" said Nazif.

He hoped the industry can create innovative mechanisms that will help close the current gap between supply and demand, and develop tools and applications, which will both increase productivity and improve the management of food supply.

"This will be an excellent opportunity for the ICT industry to help manage a global issue" said Nazif, also saying that Egypt is ready to take part in any global or regional partnership to tackle this important issue.

The Egyptian Prime Minister also took the opportunity during his speech to plug some other pet projects, for example the Arabic eContent Initiative, a specialized portal which aims to increase the amount Arabic content on the Internet.

"It's remarkable that Arabic content on the Web account for less than half a percent, in a striking contrast to the immense contribution of Arab culture to human history," said Nazif.

He also highlighted Smart Village, located in Cairo, Egypt's and the region's first fully-operational technology and business park, currently the home of over 100 companies, and Nazif expects it to continue to grow in the coming years.

Egypt now plans to share its expertise in building such parks with other African countries, such as Gambia and Nigeria, according to Nazif.

 
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