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Tarek Kamel

Sr Advisor to President & SVP, Government and IGO Engagement

Forum Profile


Tarek Kamel is an Egyptian expert in global Internet governance issues. Kamel has been involved in global Internet Governance issues and he is well known for his support of the Multistakeholder governance model of the Internet.

In August 2012 ICANN appointed Tarek Kamel to serve as a Senior Advisor to its President; and by that he is the first one from the developing countries to take one of the leading roles in ICANN’s senior management. Prior to joining ICANN, he was a board member of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority of Egypt from April 2011- July 2012.

Kamel served as the Minister of Communication and Information Technology from July 2004 to February 2011, where he was responsible for the reform of the ICT sector and the development of telecom services and the Internet industry in Egypt. Kamel joined the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology since its formation in October 1999, where he had been appointed Senior Advisor to the Minister following his pioneering efforts in ICT. He was board member of Telecom Egypt from 2000 to 2004 and a board member of Egypt’s Private Public Technology Development Fund (TDF) to support start-ups and incubators in ICT from 2002 to 2004.

Kamel is known for his visionary strategy in driving and developing Egypt's ICT sector, leading Egypt into the global Information Society. He has led many national initiatives to increase Internet and broadband penetration in Egypt. He has been the main proponent of Egypt's programs to reform and deregulate the telecommunications sector.

Kamel has played a pivotal role in developing the ICT enabled O&O (outsourcing and offshoring) industry in Egypt. During his tenure as a Minister he led a local and global team to formulate and implement a national strategy that positioned Egypt as a regional role model in call centers, Business Process Outsourcing, Knowledge Process Outsourcing and Innovation based services. The strategy implementation occurred in a public private partnership cooperation and has included the buildup of business parks, the development of a large talent pool, the establishment of business incubators and VCs as well as the development of the necessary environment for entrepreneurship and business development to attract global players to invest in Egypt. The yield on Egypt's socioeconomic process has been remarkable in youth employment and GDP and exports growth.

Tarek Kamel served as a member of the Internet Society (ISOC) Board of Trustees in Virginia and as Vice President for Chapters from 1999 – 2002. He is a founding member and a previous board member of AfriNIC. He acted as Chairman of the Executive Bureau of the Arab Telecommunications and Information Council of Ministers from 2004 to 2008 and the Chairman of the Ministerial Conference on Communication and Information Technologies of the African Union from 2006 to 2008. In recognition of his leadership in the ICT sector, the South African Ministry of Communications named him, in 2005, "Top Minister in Africa with an ICT Portfolio".

Kamel graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and then also completed a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at the same school. From 1989 to 1992 he pursued his Ph.D. (Dr.-Ing.) in Germany at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology of the Technical University of Munich with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Kamel started his career as a network support engineer for the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, then an assistant researcher at the Electronics Research Institute. Returning to Egypt from Germany, he became manager of the Communications and Networking Department at the Cabinet Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC/RITSEC), and gained a professorship at the ERI. It is during this period (from 1992 to 1999) that he established Egypt's first connection to the Internet, steered the introduction of commercial Internet services in Egypt and founded the Internet Society of Egypt.
In Egypt he hosted several IGF, ICANN and ITU regional and international events.

Tarek Kamel was born in Cairo, Egypt on May 8th, 1962. His mother tongue is Arabic and he is fluent in English and German and has fair French capabilities. He is married to Iman El Azab, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cairo University, and has two children, Omar (born 1995) and Heba (born 1998).

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."