Saturday, May 24, 2008

BPN 1108 The trip to Bahrain is not over yet

This is the last posting about Bahrain for the time being. I am home, but the trip is not over yet. I have a pile of business cards to answer to.

Looking back at the assignment of the Kingdom of Bahrain eGovernment Agency, I can say that it has been an extra ordinary assignment. I have been 13 days in Bahrain, living out of a suitcase. I had been invited as the eGovernment Agency celebrated its first anniversary in a grand way with a competition and a Forum.

I have been involved in four major events: a presentation for the Supreme Committee for Information Technology and Communication a steering committee of 11 ministers, chaired by deputy prime ministers Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak al Khalifa, the jury deliberations for the eGovernment Excellence Awards, the Awards ceremony and the eGovernment Forum. There have been some side events like the luncheon with the foreign delegations attending the eGovernment Forum and exhibition and the dinner at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Bahrain Information Technology Society (BITS).

I have met many people. I worked with the management of the eGovernment Agency and have been assisted by Abdulaziz. I also had a lot of contact with Nezar, who was the link between the eGovernment Agency and the cabinet. In the jury deliberations I work with a team of professionals with backgrounds in academics, consultancy, government and business. I enjoyed meeting again Waheed. At the Presidents palace I met old friends, involved in the 2005 World Summit Awards Grand Jury in Bahrain. At the Awards ceremony I met again Radi Ali the manager of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority. I also met in Bahrain Ghislain, an employee for Zain Mobile, who used to work in The Netherlands, but has now been relocated in Bahrain. And I met many new people during the Awards ceremony, the Forum and the exhibitions. Their business cards still have to be answered.

I still have to work on promised documents in the coming week. When these are completed and have been sent off, I am anxious to hear what is going to happen. Will there be a second eGovernment Excellence Awards in Bahrain? Will there be competitions in Kuwait, Qatar or Oman. And will there be a supra-national competition in the Gulf. I would also hope that the GCC, the associated Gulf states, will start an annual benchmark exercise. What I know is that the kingdom of Bahrain has high ambitions and wants to make it to the top of the UN list.

For the time being I will think back of the sight of a small buss of a handyman with the e-mail address with a prefix achmed6. In a country where every third boy will be named Ahmed, there is one person who is identifiable by an e-mail address as Achmed. I wonder how many e-mail addresses there are, starting with Achmed.

Blog Posting Number: 1108


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