Libya aims to consolidate and leverage its information and communications technology (ICT) services for export, Emad Al-Karash, the Head of the Preparatory Committee of the Libya Exhibition for Exporting Communications and Information Technology Services (ECITS) told Libya Herald today.
Al-Karash was speaking on the back of the announcement on Monday by The Libyan Export Promotion Centre (LEPC) of the Ministry of Economy and Trade that it will be holding the ECITS exhibition from February 20 to February 22 at the Great Hall in the Sports City, Tripoli.
Besides the participation of local ICT companies, 12 Tunisian companies, in addition to the Abu-Ghazaleh International Group from Jordan will take part.
Libya has many programmers who in a digital world can expand their markets
Al-Karash explained that Libya has built up large cadres of programmers over the decades who have on an individual basis exported their software abroad. He said the time is right to try to consolidate and encourage them into forming larger companies.
He explained that many of Libya’s ICT cadres have already been working in the sector in Libya for foreign companies where they have gained a lot of experience. Al-Karash pointed out that the Covid-19 crisis brought out a lot of enterprise in these cadres leading to the launch of many apps for delivery and shopping services that have become household names in Libya.
He also pointed out that in the era of digitisation, most services in the sector can now be offered abroad, which gives Libyan in the sector a wider market to aim at. This is why, he added, the exhibition will also be open to virtual participation.
But Al-Karash said that the desire to seek overseas export markets also applies to Libya’s huge state telecoms companies.
Libya: a regional centre for exporting ICT services?
Speaking exclusively to Libya Herald, Mahmoud Fathallah, Executive Director of the Cadre Company for Media Services, Exhibitions and Conferences, the executive organizer of the ECITS exhibition, said that given the importance of the ICT sector in the progress and prosperity of countries, it is more appropriate for Libya to turn into a regional centre for exporting ICT services.
He said this would be in line with the country’s expansion in providing communications services through smart phone applications and electronic portals.
Fathallah said that it was to this end that the LEPC launched an annual forum that brings together decision makers, companies and individuals in the field of ICT. He said it hopes to provide opportunities for companies and specialized institutions to get acquainted with the proposed projects and find an appropriate mechanism for national and foreign companies to communicate with each other.
Participants can also display their services and products, virtually and non-virtually, in a way that contributes to the development of the infrastructure for various development projects, Fathallah added.
Spreading the culture of exporting ICT services
He pointed out that one of the most important objectives of the exhibition is to spread the culture of exporting communications and information services. He hoped companies would form local partnerships to export their services abroad, as well as building partnerships with foreign entities.
Several Libyan individuals and companies already exporting ICT services
He stressed that there are several local companies and Libyan programmers who actually export their products abroad, including Al-Sahel Software Company, which exports its services to the countries of Yemen and Iraq.
Event will open door for young ICT practitioners
He added that the exhibition will open the door for young programmers, graduates and project owners to present their ideas, projects and perceptions about exporting ICT services abroad. He hoped the event would therefore provide bridges for communication between them and local and international companies operating in this field.
Training and potential investors
Fathallah also hoped the event will offer the youth in the sector training opportunities to develop their businesses and better promote their services and companies to potential investors in a better way.
Thirsty market, low costs and low prices of programmers and equipment
Highlighting Libya’s advantages in the sector, Fathallah said Libya has many advantages that are not available in many countries in the region and the world. These include the low prices of equipment required for the work of programmers and the low fees imposed by the state on this sector. In addition, Libya is a suitable home for programmers as it is a thirsty market many programmes that always need development and innovation.
Finally he added that the most important feature in Libya is the presence of undiscovered individual programmers who work in individual ways and with self-effort. They release different software in many marketing, accounting, financial and administrative fields. The exhibition will provide an official umbrella for them to link them with investors at home and abroad, he concluded.
Libya Exhibition for Exporting Communications and Information Technology Services (ECITS) 2023: 20 to 22 February at Tripoli Sports City (libyaherald.com)
Libya Export Promotion Centre to hold export of ICT services promotion event next June (libyaherald.com)