Wednesday, September 07, 2005

WSA Grand Jury Bahrain: Day 5

It has been interesting to see how Bahrain got interested in the World Summit Award and after 2 years takes over from Dubai, where we had the first Grand Jury meeting in 2003. Bit by bit I start to understand a little bit the reasons for the interest of the Bahraini.

At the press conference last Saturday the government of Bahrain sent the Under secretary of the ministry of Industry and Commerce as well as the Undersecretary of the ministry Information

It all started with the formation of the sixth Gulf states that are forming an economic community. Among the countries are the United Arab Emirates, Quatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. In this community tasks are divided in order to work efficient. On the agenda of this economic community is e-commerce as top priority; this is assigned to the UAE. Bahrain has received e-Content as focal point. This is the reason why Bahrain is profiling itself as the e-content hub of the Gulf region. In order to give body to this aspiration, the World Summit Grand Jury has been invited. But it should not stop there. Other more lasting institutes, dealing with e-Content are on the drawing board and are part of the ongoing discussion with the WSA.

It could be interesting to see what directions such an institute is going to take. Will it just follow the traditional sector line of e-culture, e-learning and geographical information services? Or will the institute study the interaction in the value chain, the industry and sectors, the technology related to content (DRM, authoring systems, content management systems), the education in the content field, the economy of content and the politics of content. These are just themes for study. The Finnish institute of content could serve as one example.

At the World Summit on the Information Society the Gulf states will present themselves as a community. They will show e-commerce and e-government. In this community the Bahraini will show that they are building the e-content hub for the Arabic world and for the rest of the world.


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