Communications Ministry gears up to build first smart village in Iraq

The smart village will be equipped with the latest information technologies, officials say.  [Mohammed Ameen/Reuters]

The smart village will be equipped with the latest information technologies, officials say. [Mohammed Ameen/Reuters]

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Earlier this month, the Iraqi Communications Ministry began studying a project to construct the first "smart village" in Iraq.

The village, which has parallels in a number of other countries, will be the headquarters for many local and foreign investment companies and will include a number of service facilities and buildings equipped with the latest, most modern means of communications and information technologies, officials said.

Among the village's attractions are a hotel, a commercial mall, an electronic library, a hall for meetings, conferences and special occasions, and a movie theatre.

The project aims to support "the process of reconstruction and national development by creating suitable circumstances and a comfortable environment for local and foreign companies investing in the country [as well as] those wishing to enter the Iraqi investment market," said Sameer Ali al-Hasoon, official spokesperson for the Communications Ministry.

He said the village's advanced communications network would enable companies to administer and develop their investment projects free of any obstacles, particularly at the level of technical services.

Once all the project's prerequisites are completed, the ministry "will approach the [Iraqi] National Investment Commission about the possibility of announcing the project as an investment venture, which could be carried out in collaboration with local and foreign private sector companies", he said.

'Thousands of work opportunities'

"The project has great importance because it acts as a strong incentive to push forward the social, economic and development processes in the country," said Vian Dakheel Saeed, chairwoman of the Iraqi parliament's services and reconstruction committee.

Saeed told Mawtani the project will create thousands of work opportunities for the unemployed, particularly for graduates of colleges and institutes, and that it will be especially useful for training individuals on digital applications and advanced communications systems.

She said her committee members are currently discussing the village's construction with officials at the Communications Ministry to explore ways to implement this "vital project".

The Communications Ministry's deputy secretary for financial and administrative affairs, Kareem Mizel al-Saedy, told Mawtani his ministry has pinpointed a plot of land in the capital for the project. The ministry is about to complete the process of registering the land, he said, and he expects work on the smart village to begin early next year.

Designs for the project and preparations for its construction requirements are due for completion before September 2012, he added.

The ministry "is currently focused on preparing the plans, designs, and studies of this modern village," al-Saedy said.

"Once the design phase ends, and the comprehensive and final picture of the project becomes clear, we shall work on preparing all the necessary requirements to start the project," he said, adding that implementation will require securing sufficient funds for the project in co-ordination with the Finance Ministry and the Planning Ministry.

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  • READER COMMENTS

    ليث زكريا

    2012-4-19

    I believe that all parts of Iraq are suffering from the very poor services that the subscribers of the internet and the communication in general, receive. I mean here the mobile services. In fact, those services have become necessary. Thus, they must become more and more accessible. In addition, these companies should offer better services to the customers because they enable them to communicate with the world. Besides, many Iraqi citizens need the internet to conduct their research and contact other parties. It is the right of subscribers to the internet and cell phones in Iraq to receive better services. Indeed, companies should invest in the new technology to provide citizens with better services. They are supposed to promote the internet services in order to have access to information, follow-up news and many other services. This is possible only through a better quality of connection. At the same time, the internet access is a manifestation of the development, the modernization and the introduction of technology to Iraq. In fact, all the world countries are introduced to Internet and other communication services.

  • سندس

    2012-4-11

    The Internet won that position and became such an important part of the lives of the Iraqi people. It is an important means practiced by young people often for entertainment, or finding love or friendship. It represents a quick and easy way to get information and news, circumstances similar to a siege during periods of violence witnessed by the Iraqis. Although the Internet is a source of satisfaction to the Iraqis, it is also part of their continuous struggle because the Internet has become an important tool in what is known as the "information war" in Iraq. However, all of the coalition forces and militias in Iraq are using the Internet to win the psychological war in Iraq. This is mentioned by the free Internet Initiative when it said that "The Internet is still a battleground for the coalition forces and armed groups,” as the Internet is also used by the British soldiers and Iraqis to display their complaints during the war. The Iraqi blogs and websites were important tools that contributed in drawing the attention of the world to the suffering of the Iraqis due to the occupation of their country. Furthermore, the British soldiers used the Internet to expose the unjust conditions that they face in Iraq. This is done by using sites such as YouTube. The entry of the Internet service via satellite is considered a major reason for the growing number of Internet users. After that, many service providers tend to offer. As for the subscribers of telephone ground lines in Iraq, they have reached nearly 1.5 million subscribers, while the number of users of mobile handsets is about 17.5 million users through some companies, the most important of which are Zain, Asia-Cell, Ittisalna, Korek Telecom. As for the ground telephone lines, the most important of its companies are still the Iraqi Telecommunications and Post Company and Itisaluna Company.

  • خليل ابراهيم

    2012-4-10

    “The Iraqis have become addicted to the Internet.” That is the way a local newspaper described the new love of the Iraqis which is the Internet. However, the number of Internet users in Iraq is witnessing a steady increase in comparison with the years under Saddam Hussein. The number of Internet users in Iraq has reached more than 275 thousand subscribers, which means that the number of Internet users has doubled about 22 times since 2000, where the number of users at that time does not exceed 21 thousand five hundred users. The Internet has become very popular in Iraq to the extent that the United Nations has chosen the Internet as a means of encouraging the Iraqis to vote in provincial elections in the country in 2009. The website “Vote for Iraq", which is supported by the United Nations, has had a great success.

  • عدي سعدون الجنابي

    2012-4-6

    It is very important to show more attention to the Internet and its development in Iraq. During the rule of the former regime, the Iraqi citizens were deprived of all possibilities to make self-development. At that time, many Iraqis did not know the meaning of the term “Internet”. We did not know much about the web because of deprivation. Fortunately, the Internet has become accessible with the spread of communications network in Iraq.

  • مروان

    2012-4-5

    There is an urgent need to develop this network. In fact, all countries interact through networks. It is a sign of modernity and development that would ease the work of people. The latter could carry out their businesses by connecting the net. Firstly, you could access and learn about everything that goes on in the world today. You can read and see events through the network. Secondly, internet users are informed about scientific research and development. They are updated with the developments in the scientific and other fields. Thirdly, it is very useful in commercial transactions between traders, communications, and social networking. I support the development of the Internet in Iraq in terms of strengthening networks and contracting with the best international companies operating in this field. Such inventions have a great impact on the development of the Iraqi citizen. The latter is able to access everything in the world through this network. Moreover, I do believe that the development of the Internet network in Iraq will give additional impetus to the telecommunications sector. The Internet would enhance the communication with international companies in order to have access to their businesses and cooperate with them. It will serve to convey a clear picture about Iraq and increase cooperation in the fields of investment and urban projects. In fact, communication networks are the backbone of development. Therefore, it is important to develop and support communication in order to serve the country and the citizens.

  • براء علي

    2012-3-29

    For countries like Iraq, which is making efforts to rebuild its reputation and the country’s solidarity after a decade, there is a need to give birth to a proper infrastructure for the country. From the year 2000 to 2010, the percentage of Iraqis using the internet increased fom 0.1% to 1.1%. The improvement in the sector of communication and the internet will help Iraqis with the chances of employment. There are plans to install fiber optics all over Iraq, to improve the conditions of the internet all over Iraq and to reconnect the citizens with the world. Landlines and television signals have greatly improved in all the major cities and are still expanding. Emerging communications and the internet in developing countries like Iraq help the people to seek numerous opportunities, such as employment, leisure and getting in touch globally easily.

  • مسعد خليل

    2012-3-26

    The internet is very important in the life of humans in general, because it opens doors in many fields, scientific and practical. It opens new horizons for knowledge and learning, as well as working. I will not speak about the importance of the internet for the Iraqis only, but I will speak about its importance to humanity in general, because what applies to the world applies to the small societies and countries as well. The internet has contributed to the progress of humanity, and it has been the main engine that formed the thought, economy and trends of the whole world, particularly in the advanced states. It is known that one can educate oneself through the internet, and we can also know about everything around us, whether related to sports, culture, news, knowledge, learning and entertainment. Through the internet, you can work and make good money. You can also follow the stock exchange, its fluctuations, and the other businesses. You can also connect with anyone in the world and have a conversation with him. You can even run a business or an administration, in addition to countless possibilities. The internet has allowed us to do many things that used to be extremely expensive, complicated and slow previously. If you want to know the benefits of the internet to Iraq and the Iraqis, whether they are ordinary people or investors, you can apply what we mentioned earlier to them.

  • هاشم زين

    2012-3-24

    In the Arab world, the term illiteracy was previously used to describe those who did not know how to read and write; but now it refers to those who do not know how to deal with the computer and the Internet. Although Arab peoples are sure of the correctness of this piece of information, we find that a large proportion of these people still suffer illiteracy in its old sense. For example and without limitation, over the past decades Iraqis have suffered a setback in the services of telecommunications, the Internet and information technology fields, and perhaps it is the time for Iraq to compensate for the suffering during that period of time. The people of Iraq, being among the smartest peoples on earth, have the right to catch up with the latest developments, see what is going on around them and obtain what they have been deprived of such as knowledge and different sciences. The telecommunications sector, like other sectors, has been affected by war and vandalism throughout decades, and maybe the time has come to remedy past mistakes and fix what happened because of negligence, dereliction and destruction. The people of Iraq have the right to get what they deserve and expect from the telecommunications sector in their country. The development of Internet services in Iraq is no longer one of the luxuries, but rather it is one of the most important basics. The entire world has adopted the Internet as an important and essential means for the development of education. Iraq, the cradle of civilizations, has the right to enjoy such development.

  • كمال صبيح

    2012-3-22

    Iraq depends on using the modern means of communication such as mobile phones and internet services which are considered the most important tools that provide a comfortable atmosphere for their users. People can now communicate with their families whether in Iraq or abroad. The Iraqi citizen is now in constant communication at any time with his family and relatives living overseas. He can connect with them in his home or internet cafes, which are designed for these purposes. In addition, internet services have provided major leaps for researchers in different sciences by allowing them to acquire the knowledge they need from various websites. This helps them accomplish their researches quickly and professionally and direct their research to the development of the country in all fields for the sake of Iraqi people. Also, the diverse means of communications are distinguished with great effect in the process of construction and national development. They provide the proper circumstances and atmospheres for the local and foreign companies to invest in the country. They express their interest in entering the market of Iraqi investments through communicating with the respective ministries through the internet. In order for Iraq to take the greatest advantage of the modern and developed communication system, it has to have huge projects with great capabilities in the field of modern communications. This will help execute the businesses related to developing the country and offering the best technical services in the field communication for all the Iraqis. I learned from the media outlets that Iraq is currently preparing to build a smart village like those built in other parts of the world to employ it to serve the Iraqis nowadays.

  • حسين راشد

    2012-3-22

    The telecommunication service is very important in the life of a human; it has become indispensable for him. It has become a part of the human life characterized by the modern technical advancement. These modern scientific methods shortened the distances between people and these services now benefit millions in the world population.