Until recently, there was a lack of high-quality, well-structured websites managed by companies creating digital content for Arabic-speaking users especially for rural communities. This has created a digital divide between rural and urban populations in Egypt.
Towards a solution
In order to support rural-urban integration into one knowledge society, and to empower communities through the provision of easy access to the information they need, in order improve their skills, and to increase their future and career opportunities, the Egyptian Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MCIT) jointly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched Kenanaonline, a community development portal, in 2007.The objective of this online platform is to promote sustainable human development and the integration of rural and urban communities into the knowledge society. Kenanaonline offers syndicated news, currency prices, a website directory, job searches, and a multilingual dictionary, all with the aim of contributing to raising the income potential of its users. The platform provides information on business, industry, health, agriculture and farming, education and professional training. The main goal of this platform is to empower people, especially the youth, through knowledge; increase socio-economic standards; raise awareness on issues relevant to their communities; build capacities, and enhance their decision making.
KenanaOnline work scope depends mainly on two major strategies:
- Networking and partnership: This is done through building a network of community partners from NGOs, experts, academia, universities, entrepreneurs and private sectors in every targeted field. In a parallel way, each partner actually participates in establishing a promising information society and implicitly encourages activities related to networking, business opportunities, and e-marketing.
- Community Mobilization: This is done through developing a series of public activities that are mainly directed towards raising awareness using Kenanaonline features and services. These series also target mobilizing the Arabic-speaking people to actively participate in enlarging Kenanaonline knowledge networks, and enhancing the specialized free e-content.
Kenanaonline provides user-friendly online applications that allow users to build their online knowledge base to provide their communities with knowledge and consultancy in their respective fields of expertise. This service includes:
- Business directory system
- Websites and blogs creations services
- Internet marketing tools (Newsletter, classified Ads.)
- Customer Relation Management.
Since the launch, the solution contributed to establishing the knowledge society in MENA region by leading and moderating the generation and management of credible and specialized knowledge portals and developing the social mindset for using ICT in utilizing knowledge for sustainable community development and achieved the following:
- 1,390,000 pages published on the Internet
- 1,000 page added daily/ 30,000 per month
- 37,000 Daily visits
- 46,000 unique daily visitors.
The project can be replicated to other Arabic-speaking countries.
Supported by: The Italian Cooperation, the Ministry of Agriculture, General Authority for Fish Resources Development, the Ministry of Social Solidarity, Egypt Arts Academy, the Egyptian Association for Persons with Special Need, Dreamers of Tomorrow Association.
Implementing entity: UNDP, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT)
Project Status: Ongoing
Project Period: 2007-ongoing
URL to the Practice: http://support.kenanaonline.com/
Name: Nelly Bahgat
Title: South-South Development Academy Egypt