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Smart city is a concept of urban development, designed to deliver all the information, crucial for better city management, in real time. Its popularity has further increased with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of smart city solutions and emerging technologies, including IoT infrastructure and monitoring centers, information and communication technologies are used to collect, analyze and implement key information about the core systems for smooth city operations.

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Being present in Egypt, H.E Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, secretary-general of the Arab ICT Organization, achieved successful agreements to better serve the Arab region.

Within the scope of the Arab-Chinese cooperation, and on the margin of the visit of the President of China to Egypt, the secretary-general of the Arab ICT Organization (AICTO), H.E Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the director of China Satellite Navigation Office, Mr. Chengqi Ran, on Wednesday 20 January 2016, at the League of Arab States headquarters, in Cairo.

The MOU aims to implementing cooperation in the field of satellite navigation and building capacities related to BeiDou/GNSS applications in the Arab States, and leading joint technical research in the field of GNSS, including monitoring and assessment, education and training.

The MOU covers a number of cooperation programs, namely the setting up of a joint Arab BeiDou/GNSS Center of Excellence based at El Gazala Technopark to serve as an open window for exchanges and a platform for cooperation, conducting demonstration and experience activities, promoting research and development, application, education and training for the Arab States.

Besides, AICTO and CSNO will jointly carry out activities on the basis of BeiDou/GNSS Center of Excellence under the framework of China-Arab Cooperation Forum, such as seminars, technical studies, scientific research including monitoring and assessment, education and training.

Moreover, the secretary general also visited the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies. He held a cooperation meeting with H.E Ms. Nermine El Saadany, deputy to the minister for international cooperation.

This meeting was a good opportunity to exchange about the means to promote cooperation and coordinate efforts to serve the Arab region priorities.

On this occasion, H.E Mohamed Ben Amor expressed his deep satisfaction about the efforts made by the Egyptian ministry in matter of e-accessibility and Arab e-content development, while expressing AICTO's strong will to consolidate the current efforts.

H.E Mrs. Nermine welcomed AICTO readiness to closely cooperate, and expressed her willingness to coordinate efforts to serve the Arab citizens' needs and enable them enjoy the services provided by the digital economy.

Additionally, AICTO and ITU joined efforts as well. On this occasion H.E Eng. Mohamed Ben Amor held a cooperation meeting with H.E Mr. Ebrahim Al-Haddad, regional director, Arab Regional Office of ITU to enhance cooperation between both organizations and coordinate efforts to better serve the Arab region in matter of information and communication technologies.

They both agreed to focus their work in the future on the priorities of the Arab region such as submitting joint proposals for the new Arab Strategy for ICTs, leading a joint survey related to the over the Top Technologies.

In this context, AICTO will participate and contribute to the Regional Development Forum for the Arab Region (RDF-ARB), to be held on 28 March - 30 March, in Rabat, Morocco.

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