Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Bridging the 'digital gap' in Tunis
Well Highlander is travelling again, yep no resting yet .. this time yours truly is in neighbouring Tunis which is hosting the World Summit on the Information Society ( this is the UN link here ) or WSIS. This is a map of the venue. There is also an exhibition going on at the same time. The expositon centre is called Le Kram as per photo on the left above. No efforts have been spared.I have been to the stands yesterday and I could vouch that they are awesome even Kofi Anan was present :). The security measures also for this event are tremendous, you could feel it from the airport and at the hotels and almost everywhere. I mean imagine being asked for your badge in your own hotel?
The city is decked in the red Tunisian flag, and the plain clothes men are not being discreet at all, I guess no risk is to be taken when you are expecting 17000 guests including foreign dignitaries and heads of states, especially with the sad recent news from Jordan.
My favourite stand is of the course the Japanese one , they have all sorts of gadgets.This is my dream vehicle, GPS, motorbike , laptop , internet ..how cool eh?
The WSIS objective is to come up with solutions 'to help poorer nations benefit from the digital revolution' , but according to various programs and interviews on TV and articles it seems that there is an argument running on who should run the net.
Here are yesterday's results of a vote on the BBC website to the question 'Does the US have too much power over the internet?'
and this is my screenshot of it- on the left.
We shall see what the participants come up with. In the meantime it's wonderful to meet with people from all over the world including Israel. The Israelis were pleased to attend for the first time it seems in Tunis and to find out a different image from that provided by the mainstream media. I think this summit and the exhibition have if nothing achieved to promote dialogue between many peoples.
Part II will be blogged tonight or tomorrow.
Out for now H.