Sh. Mohammed presents 30 awards in support of eContent industry in Bahrain

Wed, 18 Mar 2009 10:02 AM

Under the patronage of H.E. Sh. Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT), the winners of the the Bahrain eContent Awards (BEA) 2009 were honored in a large ceremony held yesterday in the Sheraton Hotel.The event, organized by the eGovernment Authority (eGA) in Bahrain, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC), the Bahrain Internet Society (BIS), and organizations from the private sector, was attended by several ministers, shura council and parliament members, diplomats, businessmen, and other VIP’s.

H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the SCICT pointed to the importance of fostering eContent as it helps develop Bahrain’s capabilities in technological fields, and called for more initiatives which facilitate eContent innovations and build up eContent in the Kingdom even further.

H.E. also commented that the ICT field is advancing at an ever-increased pace across the globe, thus affording everyone the opportunity to take advantage of this trend and achieve more growth and progress in all fields and aspects of life.

The Government of Bahrain, through its national ICT strategy, is always striving to make the most of modern technologies, according to H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister.

The fruits of these efforts can be clearly be seen in the superior governmental services offered to citizens, residents, and businesses, thus helping Bahrain become a hub of investment, finance, and human capital.

H.E. also commended the eGA, MoICT, and BIS for their efforts in encouraging local eContent entrepreneurship, and their unwavering commitment to make this competition the best it can possibly be, pointing to the large number of participants as irrefutable evidence to the event’s respected position and its pioneering role in supporting and stimulating various technological sectors in Bahrain.

Finally, H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the SCICT congratulated all the winners and encouraged them to persist working and developing their websites, as well as keeping up to date with the latest advances in the ICT field for the benefit of the Kingdom.H.E. also advised the various honorees that winning the 2009 WSA is now within their grasp.

H.E. Sh. Ahmed bin Atiyatallah Al Khalifa, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, delivered a speech in the event, in which he stated that “modern technology now effects every aspect of our daily lives, not the least of which is eContent, one of the most important products of modern IT systems in the international community.

EContent works side by side with transportation, communication, education, healthcare, the various products we use, and everything else that effects our lives in general.”

H.E. also emphasized that eContent is no longer a mere technology, but now allows for the creation of an information society managed by individuals capable of digital innovation. Thus, eContent is now more than just a vehicle of information transfer, but a tool which shapes the human mind.

“The onus is firmly on policy makers to provide superior and high quality eServices the internet so that we can utilize the various benefits modern ICT channels provide,” he added.

“It became increasingly vital that we bring to light the importance of eContent in bringing these eServices to the public, and the important role it plays in creating its artistic, scientific, and cultural value of it.

As such, the need to create a specialized mechanism capable of strengthening the relationship between a website and its content by measuring and evaluating its quality. ”

“Due to this realization, the SCICT, headed by H.E. Sh. Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, gave its full support to the BEA this year to elevate this field’s profile in our community and push the Bahraini websites to reach global acclaim,” said H.E. the Minister of Cabinet Affairs.

“Today’s event is the result of these combined efforts of our Government and civil initiatives in bringing more local talent into eContent and highlighting the critical role it plays in doing so.”

President of the BEA organizing committee, Mr. Ahmed Al Hujairy, also delivered a speech in which he mentioned that the BEA is a national program supported by the esteemed Government of Bahrain through the eGA, as well as valuable participation from the BIS, the MoIC, and private sector, with the aim of promoting a knowledge-based society by facilitating the eContent innovation at the Government, private business, and individual level.

“Today’s occasion marks the culmination of months of relentless work and collaboration by the local and international concerned bodies to present the awards to the winners in this national competition,” Al Hujairy said.

“The event succeeded in pushing the creativity of Bahraini talents to such impressive levels,” pointing to the strong tradition continued from the competition’s previous two editions, which began in 2005.

Al Hujairy concluded by commenting that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s belief in the unique role eContent plays in progress and growth is clearly demonstrated by its support of the BEA and its efforts to push it towards international prominence, an idea summarized by this year’s BEA theme, “The Bahrain eContent Awards – expand your horizon globally.

Also delivering a speech was WSA Chairman, Mr. Peter Bruck, who stressed that content is the actually the basis for inspiration, not the technology itself, because the springboard to creating exciting information society is the creativity in content.

“International eContent always requires local eContent, and local eContent requires local innovative producers and developers,” Mr. Bruck added.

“Hence, the WSA looks at the BEA with a favourable eye as it is one of the first local competitions in the world whose winners are nominated to enter the WSA.”

After the speeches, H.E. Sh. Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the SCICT presented this year’s 24 winners and 6 special mention entries with their awards. The list of winners for the BEA’s 10 categories was as follows:

– eGovernment: o Winners ? Min. of Information & Commerce ( ? Labor Market Regulatory Authority ( ? Bahrain Economic Development Board (

– eHealth: o Winners ?Min. of Health ( ?International Hospital of Bahrain ( -eInclusion:

oWinners ?Min. of Interior ( ?Women Gateway ( ? (

-eScience: oWinners ?Bahrain Center for Studies & Research ( -eBusiness oWinners ?Arabian Shipbuilding Repair Yard Co. ( ?Riffa Views ( ?Global Tourism Club ( oSpecial Mention ?Moda Mall (

-eBanking: oWinners ?Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait ( ?Bank Muscat International (

-eMedia oWinners ?Akhbar Al-Khaleej ( ?Al-Wasat ( ?Trade Arabia (

oSpecial Mention ?Al-Waqt ( ?Manama Gate (

-eEntertainment: oWinners ?Batelco’s “O” ( oSpecial Mention ?Adhari Park (

-eLearning: oWinners ?Ministry of Education’s Enrichment Programs ( ?Arab Open University ( ?Al-Ostath Anwar Portal (

oSpecial Mention ?Science for 6th Grade (offline DVD, CD-ROM, and video materials) ?Wasmia (

-eLearning: oWinners ?Jihat Al-Shi’r ( ?Arab Cultural Cafe ( ?Folk Culture (

In addition, the 11-member judging panel, headed by representatives from the WSA was also recognized for its exceptional efforts over the course of the competition.

The organizing committee also presented a commemorative gift to H.E. the Deputy Prime Minister and President of the SCICT in recognition of H.E.’s patronage of the BEA 2009’s awards ceremony.

In the end, the BEA organizing committee extended its sincerest gratitude to H.E. Sh. Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the SCICT, for his patronage which helped immensely in the success of the event and everyone else who helped in this success.

The committee wished everyone who did not win the best of luck, and urged them to participate again in upcoming awards and contribute to the development of Bahrain’s eContent.

The event comes as part of the national efforts to encourage innovation in the field of eContent, as well as serving as the official means through which local eContent works to qualify for the World Summit Awards (WSA).

Due to this association with the WSA, an annual event put together by the United Nations, the BEA is conducted according to the world-class procedures stipulated by the WSA.

All registration, evaluation, and judging processes followed in the BEA were devised in a scientific manner by international eContent authorities