A leading Western information technology guru will face off in Dubai next week with the man spearheading Malaysia's move into the computer age at a conference focusing on how to bridge the digital divide between the West and East, organizers said Monday, April 9.
Vincenzo Schioppa — the head of the "dot force" created last year by the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized powers to promote the use of information and communications technology (ICT) — will deliver a key-note speeches at the April 16-19 Gulf E-Business International Conference along with Othman Yeop Abdullah.
Abdullah directs Malaysia's multimedia super corridor (MSC) — a 50 by 15 kilometer (30 by 10 mile) Greenfield area incorporating two "smart cities" — which will also encompass e-government, multimedia industries and a university.
The Gulf E-Business International Conference is "designed to discuss the issue of bridging the digital divide between the Middle East and countries in Europe, North America and South East Asia," organizers said in a statement.
Also speaking at the conference is Jordan's Telecommunications Minister Fawaz Hatem Zobi in addition to leading lights from the private sector.
The Gulf emirate of Dubai has blazed the way forward for ICT in the Middle East, laying claim to its own Internet city and a raft of other lavish projects in its bid to become the region's e-capital or electronic hub.
It also hosted an Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development (OECD) forum in January on how developing countries must embrace information technology to close the widening digital divide with developed states and participate fully in the new global economy. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)