Environment is favourable for development of knowledge society in Morocco
The ICT landscape in Morocco is changing rapidly offering new challenges for quality content development as showcased at a UNESCO organized round table on "Knowledge societies and development in Morocco" on 2 March in Marrakech.
The event took place within the framework of the "International Forum of ICT Strategies and Investment" (IFISI).
In Morocco the Internet penetration rate is 11.6% in comparison with an average of 2.5% in the Maghreb region. This development is due notably to the drop of Internet prices (introduction of DSL) and to the generalization of the Internet and information technology in general in schools.
However, the user rate of Internet remains low (15.40%) with obstacles such as users' lack of training, ignorance of possibilities that Internet offer and content unfit to local needs. Furthermore, the lack of access points remains low and 64% of Moroccans have never used a computer. In this context, the community media centres could represent an interesting solution.
There are several efforts to provide contents fit to the needs of different users' communities in Morocco, and making use of participatory content development. One could cite the following examples:
<li>The Tarbiya portal, a digital participative space dedicated to teachers, school managers, student parents associations and to everyone that wishes to improve the efficacy of Moroccan education using ICT; </li>
<li>Tanmia.ma, a platform aiming at stimulating the stakeholders of development to a better use of ICT; </li>
<li>Atlasethic.org, a web site dedicated to the Moroccan artisan associations and cooperatives; </li>
<li>E-ti.net, an online periodical on information technology research. </li>
Producing quality content requires also coherent information management in order to assure useful and up-to-date information. One strategy would be to make use of specialized communities in contributing to content development, ensuring also proximity to users and opening up the possibility of multilingual contents.
New information technologies offer new opportunities and tools for developing on-line content. Technologies like Blogs, RSS, Wiki and podcasting permits everyone to publish content in text, audio and video format without any specific technical skills. However, there is still a lack of legislative framework on these new means of communication, which will develop as users try out these new technologies.
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.ma/IMG/ppt/misoc1.ppt">Challenges And future perspectives of Communication and Information technologies in the Maghreb countries, MISOC</a> (French only)</li>
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.ma/IMG/ppt/tarbiya1.ppt">Communication and Information Technologies in the service of Education, the Tarbiya portal, ALEF</a> (French only)</li>
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.ma/IMG/ppt/tanmia.ppt">Communication and Information Technologies for social participation, Tanmia.ma</a> (French only)</li>
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.ma/IMG/ppt/ifisi_eti.ppt">Communication and Information Technologies and the development of Scientific Research, E-ti.net</a> (French only)</li>
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.ma/IMG/ppt/norsys.PPT">Communication and Information Technologies and economic development : Electronic commerce and Moroccan Handcrafts, Fondation Norsys</a> (French only)</li>
<li><a href="http://www.unesco.ma/IMG/ppt/mkch_mars_06.ppt">New communication forms in the Maghreb, Menara</a> (French only)</li>