Towards a Euro-Maghreb ICT industry?

In setting up a general Euro-Mediterranean policy aimed at creating a common “.med” area and a “Mediterranean society of information and knowledge”, one will build trust, encourage trade and accelerate regional stakeholders’ entry into the digital exchange revolution.

Among the structuring elements of this policy, it would be worth looking further into the feasibility of an industrial strategy to encourage the development of ICT-related content and services. IPEMED sees this as a way of moving towards accomplishing the recommendations of the first report “Confidence in the Mediterranean digital society. Steps towards a med. area” and connecting the ideas behind it with those on integration through production (co-sourcing).

To this end, IPEMED has initiated a reflection whose main object was to identify the existing or future ways of putting together a Euro-Maghreb industry. This involves establishing the current state of play and setting out perspectives.

The main object of this reflection is to identify the existing elements, or those to be created, enabling the emergence of a Euro-North-African ICT sector within a digital common space and a Mediterranean society of information and knowledge, lever of a real policy in the service of economic growth in both shores of the Mediterranean.

To address this issue, this report is organised into three parts. The first part is monographic. It focuses on countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) and offers a non-exhaustive assessment of the information and communication technologies sector (equipment & infrastructure, technology parks, ICT training, e-commerce, digital confidence and personal data protection). The second part presents examples of North-African companies with high development potential, at the regional and international level. These national champions play a key role in the development of a colocalisation strategies between North African and European countries, as well as in the implementation of the sector. The third part of the study offers evolution axis to make of the digital sector one of the levers of economic growth in the region. These operational axis summarize the feedback of the testimonies of professionals, public managers and managers of the sector collected in the three countries.

The identified evolution axis are the following:

- Axis 1. A “MEDTIC” Euro-North-African fund of funds

- Axis 2. An adapted fiscal and regulatory framework taking into account the role of Business Angels

- Axis 3. A “Euro-Maghreb Innova” innovation support fund

- Axis 4. A Euro-North-African system of university exchange in ICT training and technology-based sectors

- Axis 5. A greater mobility for North-African professionals of the sector

- Axis 6. The standardisation of qualification levels and recognition of diplomas to promote professional mobility

- Axis 7. A paramount North-African cloud computing

- Axis 8. A North-African Internet Exchange Point (IXP)

- Axis 9. The capitalisation on Euro-North-African synergies to conquer markets in Africa and the Middle East

- Axis 10. The reinforcement of mechanisms to support export for Euro-North-African SMBs

- Axis 11. A network of ICT North-African clusters in view of creating excellency clusters

- Axis 12. A North-African Digital Observatory

- Axis 13. The mutualisation of synergies of professional ICT organisms in the Euro-North-African zone

- Axis 14. A North-African network of research and technology parks


All these recommendations strengthen IPEMED’s conviction. The regional integration of both shores of the Mediterranean should be done via the production system, by sharing the value chain, especially in the field of information technologies.

In Algeria

Algeria Business Multimédia  (ABM)

CFAO Technologies Algérie

Comparex

Méditerranée informatique industrie service (M2I Services)

Chifa's card from the CNAS


In Morocco

Groupe MedTech

Disway

HPS - Hightech payment systems

Société maghrébine de monétique (S2M)

M2M

Intelcia Group

Involys


In Tunisia

Alliance franco-tunisienne pour le numérique (AFTN)

Vermeg

Oxia Group

HR Access

Business Decision Tunisia

SunGard
JANKARI Rachid

JANKARI Rachid

Associate expert

Journalist specialized in IT and consultant in new media, Rachid Jankari is Director of Jankari Consulting and an editor of the on-line magazine Digital Maghreb since April, 2006. He was the founder and responsible for the technology section of the Internet portal Menara from Casanet (Group Morocco Telecom) and journalist in the editorial staff of the daily paper " The Economist ".