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The First Women’s Community Knowledge Center (WCKC) to be launched in the Sultanate of Oman
Source: http://www.ita.gov.om/ITAPortal/MediaCenter/NewsDetail.aspx?NID=326
Source Date: Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Oman (Sultanate of)
Created: Oct 05, 2010

The Information Technology Authority (ITA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qalhat LNG who will support the establishment of the first ever Women’s Community Knowledge Center (CKC), offering to provide the building and strategic location, as part of the Community IT Training Project in the Wilayat of Shinas, in Al Batinah region. Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, signed the MoU on behalf of ITA while Mr. Harib bin Abdullah Al Kitani, CEO and General Manager of Qalhat LNG, signed representing Qalhat LNG.

The Community IT Training Project falls under the umbrella of the National IT Training & Awareness Framework (NITTA) initiative, which is a governmental nation-wide e.oman initiative aimed at developing Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills and capability, while increasing ICT awareness and proficiency within the Government and the local community. The goal of the Community IT Training project is to participate in spreading digital awareness among individuals of all strata of society by conducting free training programs related to information technology. Programs at the centers will be supervised by Omani IT training specialists and will offer various courses on computer foundations and the Internet. This will better prepare and enable citizens, women and men alike, to interact with information communication technology (ICT) and derive benefit from the eServices provided by government. Four CKCs have already opened in Muscat, Salalah, Sur and Sohar.

On the occasion of the signing ceremony, Dr. Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA offered the following statement: “We are happy for this cooperation between the Information Technology Authority and Qalhat LNG in helping to deliver NITTA projects, where we aim to launch Community Knowledge Centers in all regions and wilayats in Oman, in an effort to help transform the sultanate into a knowledge society. Phase 2 is due to begin soon and the ITA is planning to launch six more CKCs in the coming year. And, with the launch of the very first WCKC in Shinas, we are beginning Phase 1 of establishing Women Community Knowledge Centers (WCKCs) with the kind cooperation of the Omani Women’s Association, working towards having nine such centers across the sultanate. Training women of the community in ICT skills, we empower them with knowledge and by extension we help to educate their families. We greatly appreciate Qalhat LNG’s support and efforts and we hope to continue this cooperation in the future.”

In each CKC there are computers and accessories, Internet connection, as well as a number of educational programs. Every Center has a timetable for programs and included activities. Further, there is an opportunity for everyone who wishes to benefit from continuous training programs which have been prepared to suit different levels and age categories. These centers are considered of great importance for all society segments by it active role in spreading digital knowledge, enabling citizens from all segments of society to have access to available information and data via the internet, and achieve a level of comfort accessing available eServices online.

Mr. Harib Al Kitani, Qalhat LNG CEO and General Manager stated on this occasion: “Qalhat LNG has taken its corporate social responsibilities with great interest, as it evident by the decision to allocate 1% of the Company’s annual profits to the development of the local communities. Aware of its social responsibilities, as an organization and being fully committed to making a positive difference within the society, Qalhat LNG’s social investment program (SIP) was designed to identify and invest in projects, events and causes that are of relevance to specific needs of the local communities. It gives us a great pleasure to be associated today with Information Technology Authority and work together in one of the ambitious and innovative national programs specially designed to deliver IT training and to reduce computer illiteracy among Omani ladies.”

Al Kitani added, “Qalhat LNG is very proud to partner with ITA and support this particular training program as the local community is in real need for competencies and training on the use of technology to cope with the Oman Government’s Initiative for eGovernment. Additionally, as an effective response, and to be in line with the Government’s empowerment of Omani ladies strategy that was crowned by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s directives in the Woman Conference during the last Royal Tour at Saih Al Makarim. My thanks and appreciation goes to our partner in excellence, the ITA, for their professionalism and commitment towards concluding this agreement. We hope that this is only a beginning for more future cooperation between both organizations”.
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