Information Technology (IT) experts from some 20 countries gathered in Amman on Tuesday for the opening of the first 2000 Arab Conference on Information Technology (ACIT 2000) at Zarqa Private University (ZPU).
The conference is being held in a bid to “hold an IT conference with an Arab identity when it comes to support and implementation and a global attitude when it comes to participation,” Mohammad Haj Hassan, head of the conference said at the opening ceremony.
The three-day conference — which drew speakers from the US, Iraq, Algeria, Ukraine, Oman, Malaysia, Egypt, Moldova, Austria, Sudan, Libya, Pakistan, Tunisia, the UAE, Lebanon, Palestine, China, the UK, Bahrain and Jordan — discusses highly-specialized topics related to IT and would put the Arab nation on the IT map,” said Ishaq Farhan, president of ZPU.
“The conference comes as a translation of the role academic and educational institutions play in scientific research and in line with global developments in the IT field. Those developments affect every aspect of our lives, leaving those who do not [grasp it] to [slide] backwards,” he added.
“Looking at the agenda of this conference tells us that the electron, which has become an element in every aspect of our lives, can be made better use of in the service of technology and telecommunications,” Minister of Telecommunications and Post Fawwaz Zu'bi said, addressing the participants.
“Those who are the pioneers in the [IT] field are the ones leading and steering the change towards the benefit of them and their countries and peoples,” Zu'bi added. Zu'bi further said that the criteria by which nations' development and independence are assessed are the strength of their economy and the extent to which they rely on their natural and human resources. “The Arab world is in a race to use technology to support its objectives. Countries should coordinate their [efforts] to give decision-makers a comprehensive outlook [of the field].”
Zu'bi cited the various initiatives Jordan is leading to make the country a hub of technology in line with the directives of King Abdullah, such as the endorsement of intellectual property rights laws and the REACH initiative, Jordan's national strategy to develop an export-oriented IT service sector, executed jointly by the private sector and government.
Also speaking at the event was Minister of Education Khalid Touqan who highlighted the Kingdom's plans to introduce computer skills and computer-based learning in Jordan's educational sector. He spoke of the schemes to make computer education mandatory in universities and a basic subject in public schools.
ACIT 2000 will act as an international forum for scientists, engineers and practitioners to present their latest research, results, ideas, developments and applications in all areas of information technology.
The conference will include presentations of 39 papers contributed by 35 universities from 20 Arab and foreign countries, and lectures by three distinguished keynote speakers in the area of IT, organizers of the event announced through the conference website, which will carry all information about the event. — ( Jordan Times )
By Oula Al Farawati
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)