While the nations of the world were preparing to adopt new development goals after the deadline for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the increasing digital divide between developed and developing countries was of great concern. The divide has led to the marginalization and impoverishment of the economies of developing countries and to their exclusion from the global economy. Developing countries are still stumbling in building the information society that can place them on the path to the knowledge economy and to their integration into the global economy. The Arab region still needs to strengthen its capacity to produce, manage and exchange information in order to develop its information society and bring about the necessary change in the areas of education, health, trade, culture, policy making and other elements that contribute to social and economic development.
Those issues are examined in the 2015 Regional Profile of the Information Society in the Arab Region. This publication presents an overview of information and communications technology policies, strategies and infrastructure in the Arab countries; access to information and knowledge; capacity-building; enabling environment; digital Arabic content; the Arabic software industry; Arabic domain names; and regional cooperation in building the information society. It also identifies the post-2015 development priorities in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. The report concludes with recommendations aimed at promoting progress towards building a knowledge society in the Arab region.