Under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdallah II, the Jordan ICT Forum 2004 was held on September 14 and 15, 2004, in HM King Hussein Conference Center at the Dead Sea. The Forum, attended by stakeholders in ICT from inside and outside Jordan, has become the Middle East’s largest ICT forum.
His Majesty King Abdullah reiterated his commitment to make Jordan the ICT hub of the Middle East — a strategy that would help attract investment to the Kingdom and meet the aspirations of citizens.
During the closing session of the Jordan ICT Forum 2004, King Abdullah called on the government and the private sector to “immediately initiate a fund that would nurture homegrown innovation, while building a culture of optimism and hope among Jordanians.”
The last session of the forum focused on the role of innovation and entrepreneurship, citing Jordanian students who succeeded in building their own innovative projects.
“In order to build systems that enable the Jordanian industry to stay on the edge of technological innovation, we must back our youth because their aspirations today will create the Jordan of tomorrow,” the King said.
“As we grow in the sophistication of our technological capacity, we must support it with growth in our management capacity. It is not technology that we want to export, but a culture of managerial know-how and the ability to deliver.”
Minister of ICT Fawaz Zu'bi told The Jordan Times that his ministry is currently working with consultants to prepare and implement a nationwide strategy on “capacity building in management.”
In his address, King Abdullah highlighted the role of strategic agreements with global technology leaders, including Cisco and Microsoft, in emphasising the development of a modern business culture into the government and the private sector. The King stressed that despite achieving significant results over the past few years, Jordan must remain consistent in its commitment. “I am confident that together, we will transform Jordan to fully harness its potential in information and communications technology,” the King said.
Meanwhile, the Monarch announced the launch of the Jordan Entrepreneurship Centre, established with the cooperation of the MIT Entrepreneurship Centre in the US, and pledged to follow up on its work closely.
Earlier, HRH Princess Sumaya, chairperson of the board of trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), announced the establishment of a joint MIT-PSUT award for young entrepreneurs' business plans.
More than 600 international, regional and local ICT leaders met during the forum and exchanged views on building the future of ICT in Jordan and the region.
Held under the theme: “A Global Meeting of Minds in the Heart of Digital Arabia — Jordan Connects” the forum witnessed the signing of several agreements related to new ICT strategies and privatisation plans.
The Jordan ICT Forum ran for two days, with specialized sessions given by a panel of top-notch speakers, covering topics like “Defining Routes of Regional Opportunity”, “Connectivity for Regional Growth”, “Regional Synergies for a Global Offering”, “Value Generation in the Arab World”, “Investing in the Future: Vision for Education” and “Building a Youth Dialogue for Innovation.”