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Tue 3 Nov 2009 07:28 AM

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Bahrain signs deal for Arabic web content centre

Arab Centre for eContent Development aims to indirectly create thousands of jobs.

Bahrain has launched a major initiative to increase the amount of Arabic online content, which aims to create thousands of new jobs.The initiative, by Bahrain's eGovernment Authority (EGA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will see Arabic content in websites "increase significantly" from the present one percent, said Cabinet Affairs Minister Sheikh Ahmed bin Ateyatala Al Khalifa.

A deal has been signed to create the Arab Centre for eContent Development, headquartered in Bahrain, will aims to bring online services up to international standards, Gulf Daily News reported on Tuesday.

The EGA and the UNDP will finance the creation of the centre equally, the paper added.

"As such, the centre itself will not be staffed by many people, but the expertise it will help generate will result in thousands of jobs," Sheikh Ateyatala told the paper.

"The focal point of this initiative will be to train and develop Bahrainis and attract local and foreign investments to pursue similar partnerships which will, in turn, create even more lucrative job opportunities for our youth."

The EGA had so far been able to offer 100 services online and planned to offer around 200 more in the coming months, officials added.

The plan is part of Bahrain's aim to become a leader in eGovernment, putting it on top of the Arab region and in the top five in Asia.

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