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McGill translates Canada at regional summit on the information society in Dubai

Published: 2 Mar 2005

Joining the panel of experts at the 10th Dubtech Summit held in the United Arab Emirates on February 8 and 9, 2005, McGill University's James Archibald underlined Canada's strategies and approaches in shaping the information society.

Joining the panel of experts at the 10th Dubtech Summit held in the United Arab Emirates on February 8 and 9, 2005, McGill University's James Archibald underlined Canada's strategies and approaches in shaping the information society.

Organized by Datamatix, the two-day summit brought together the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations,* regional and international experts representing government and private sectors, top business executives and leading academics to assess progress in creating a knowledge-based society in the region. Participants discussed why GCC regional IT efforts had thus far failed despite enormous government support, and envisaged plans and strategies for region-wide development in the technology, information and communication sectors.

James Archibald, Director of Translation Studies at McGill and representative of the University's Office of International Research to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), attributed Canada's success to its "open and consultative approach to defining public policy which enabled a wide variety of stakeholders to shape principles." The willingness and ability to work closely with such diverse groups as para-public organizations, the private sector and the language industry, among others, Archibald maintained, is the "key to its richness and applicability" and furthers Canada's initial intent, expressed by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham, to focus "the attention of world leaders on how people in developing countries can access, adapt and use technology to communicate and create information and knowledge in pursuit of their development goals."

He added that diplomacy and international trade had enabled governments including that of Canada to enlist experts from complementary fields and coordinate efforts in areas such as education, health, business and cultural development, the latter being of particular interest to the Government of Quebec.

Keynote speaker Mr Taiek Niazi, Executive Director, SmartSquare, stressed the necessity for GCC governments to support Information Society initiatives and outlined how, with a combined GDP of 400 billion dollars (US), they could transform the region into a successful knowledge-based society.

Other regional and international speakers focused on case studies, various aspects of e-government, e-business, e-learning, e-health, national capacity building in the IT industry, and the possible contribution of universities to the development of ICTs in the GCC.

A major objective of the 10th Dubtech Summit was to lay the groundwork for the upcoming World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), slated to take place in Tunis in November 2005.

* Bahrein, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Source Site: /it
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