A
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French Version

Open Source Software (OSS) Experts Tell Jordan of ICT Human Resource Opportunity

Jordan’s business, government and academic communities today heard from leading figures and regional experts on Open Source Software (OSS) in an interactive workshop, held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Fawaz H. Zu’bi, Minister of Information and Communications Technology.

The two day gathering in the capital, organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT), the Information Technology Association of Jordan (int@j) and the University of Jordan, brought together a broad array of technologists who engaged local delegates in lively debate and technology demonstrations on the global trend.

Underscoring Jordan’s open and dynamic ICT environment, the event aimed to build understanding and awareness on the appropriate uses and benefits of OSS to enable the sector to make informed technology choices. The sessions also showcased regional business leaders who highlighted ways to develop solid commercial ventures based on OSS, creating a greater demand for ICT knowledge workers. The audience of more than 100 Jordanian technologists, managers and policy-makers also heard how the academic community could play a key role in OSS research and development, as well creating grass-roots collaboration within the development community.

"OSS presents a real opportunity for Jordan’s universities and students to show regional leadership in the research and development field. First of all, programmers benefit from developing and enhancing their IT skills and will have a broader offering to the region. In addition, OSS can also be a cost effective teaching tool because of it’s lower cost of ownership," said Tony Stanco, OSS Workshop moderator and associate director of the Open Source and e-Government, Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute, George Washington University. "The cost savings of ‘license-free’ software, with less demanding hardware requirements makes it a suitable choice for less developed countries like Jordan. Not only is the code readily available but it also lends itself well to Arabization and is ideal for learning programming skills and techniques."

"The event is in line with King Abdullah’s vision to build on Jordan’s human capital asset and gives a clear understanding of the requirements needed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by OSS for human resource development," said Ra’ed Bilbessi, CEO of the Information Technology Association - Jordan (int@j). "It was noted that through good public/private sector cooperation between universities and the development community, Jordan could strive ahead in becoming the regional hub for ICT resources and build on its national human capital capabilities. We hope to bring more events like this to Jordanian technologists to make sure we are keeping pace with the fast moving industry and take full advantage of the opportunities it presents."

"We have listened to both camps with an open mind, those who back Open Source Software and those who support the classical development industry model in order to better position our industry and meet Jordan's strategic interests," said Deema Anani, Director of IT Policy.

An online survey to participants ahead of the workshop revealed an initial broad understanding of the technology and a very marked interest in finding out what is going on in other countries around the world. It showed that more than 90 percent of respondents were familiar with the technology, more than one quarter currently use a Linux operating system, while 35 percent use the Apache web servers, among other findings.

The event was sponsored by Estarta Solutions, General Computers & Electronics (GCE), Microsoft, Red Hat, Specialized Technical Services (STS) and United Business Machines (UBM) and supported by the USAID-funded AMIR Program.

Amman,08January2003
info
The Star


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Exotica - Flowers - Shopping on line
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Hotel Beirut Lebanon
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