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Tue 16 Mar 2004 04:00 AM

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Dubai to hold first regional eGovernment summit

Dubai eGovernment and ITP Events are preparing to host the first Middle East eGovernment Summit next month.

Senior government decision-makers from across the region will head for the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai on April 26 and 27 to discuss issues such as the future of eGovernment in the Middle East, how to integrate businesses in eGovernment processes and the role of public and private sector partnerships.

"The hosting of the first Middle East eGovernment Summit will lead to an exchange of ideas and pooling of resources as the region’s governments step up measures to adopt e-governance," said Salem Al Shair, director eServices, Dubai eGovernment. "eGovernment is a system whose success is closely linked to the exchange of experiences between various countries. This summit will present the right forum to gain new insights and open doors for interaction that will help individual governments to speed up their e-government programmes."

The summit will include eGovernment country focus reviews and experts from Canada, Singapore and the United Kingdom will be flown in to present their thoughts. "The presence of foreign experts, including those from Europe, will enable the participants to measure their progress against developed countries," said Al Shair. "It is a well-known fact that much of the Middle East is well behind the global benchmarks in e-governance. This forum can help them move along the right track."

This first regional eGovernment summit follows a series of eGovernment roadshows organised by ITP Events in different countries across the Middle East. ITP and Dubai eGovernment expect the summit to attract IT directors, CEOs, CIOs, HR managers and other parties with an interest in the growth of eGovernment throughout the Middle East.

While governments across the region are generally regarded as being behind their European and American counterparts in terms of eGovernance, a recent United Nations report published by Madar Research Group claimed that some Arab countries have "put tremendous efforts into developing their eGovernment programmes in recent years." The report also suggested that the UAE is currently the top performer in terms of eGovernment readiness in the Middle East and Africa region, followed by Bahrain, Turkey, Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon and Qatar.

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