Vincent Cerf, Google’s Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, showed up to Dubai yesterday at Google Day: Arabia 2.0.
Speaking in front of over 100 C-level executives and government officials from the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Vincent stated the obvious:
What we now need is to focus on local examples. The MENA region is predicted to have 82M Internet users by 2013 and many will have brilliant ideas that can be developed. As leaders, it is vital to focus our efforts on fostering and harnessing those skills. There is also an onus on all of us as individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses and governments, to innovate and increase the availability of Arabic content online. By doing so we can positively influence the region’s ongoing social and economic development.
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From one side, it’s a good thing because those C-levels and government officials aren’t really into tech and need to know this. But seriously, if they were interested to know, a quick online query would have given them more insight.
Google also invited some key industry players in the region to discuss the important role that the government officials can play if they beef up their infrastructure.
If you’re in the mood for another fancy quote from Cerf, feast on this:
As more countries, governments, communities and individuals become connected to the Internet, there will be a new wave of evolution impacting the demographics, culture and content that will be represented online. In the future we will see the currently dominant online populations from the US and Europe overtaken by masses gaining connectivity from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. More people will access the web through mobile devices, and internationalised domain names will bring local language characters – including Arabic – to web addresses.
Apart from the quick mention that Google Buzz will soon be available in Arabic – not going to start a rant about Buzz now so let’s move on – there was nothing really exciting about Google Day. As expected, it was a networking, sales and muscle flexing presentation to open doors for business in the future.