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Cairo ICT forum kicks off
Published in Daily News Egypt on 25 - 02 - 2008

CAIRO: The four-day Cairo Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) forum kicked off Sunday at the Cairo International Conference Center in Nasr City under the slogan, "The world as we know it is now changing .
Hundreds of businesspeople and graduates streamed into the center from 10 am onwards to find what resembled some futuristic corporate dystopia, full of shiny neon displays, techno music and eager salespeople distributing forests worth of pamphlets and magazines.
A two-story TEData display, the size of a small house, competed with a maze-like LinkDotNet stand, which itself stood adjacent to a gigantic pyramid-shaped stand used by Mobinil.
Stereo speakers surrounding the pyramid pumped out music so loud, conversation even in nearby halls was difficult; the traditional Egyptian band playing at Telecom Egypt's display did not stand a chance.
Elsewhere everything from video-games to fish tanks were employed to try and draw in over-stimulated browsers.
"The displays are amazing, Nadia Saleh, a commerce graduate from Helwan University, told Daily News Egypt, "but the music is way too loud. I was trying to speak to someone from Cisco (internet Solutions Company) but I couldn't hear a thing.
Most exhibitors, however, were happy with the general set up and the space they were given.
Enterprise, Corporate and Channels Manager for TEData, Ashraf Sayed, told Daily News Egypt that the forum was a great advertisement opportunity for his company, and that his main objective was to sign up as many new customers as possible.
"This is only day one and so far we are very satisfied with how things are going, he said. "I'm confident of signing up several new subscribers, including some large businesses.
Over 150 companies set up displays at the forum, spread around four main halls, and many sold their products at a separate mall area outside the convention center.
Several guest speakers are also giving lectures over the duration of the forum on a wide variety of ICT-related subjects, including banking technologies, electronic stock trading, financial and banking solutions.
"During the sessions we will try to see whether we are ready for the very fast changes the world faces today due to advancement of technology, said Mona Mahmoud, Cairo ICT Event Director.
In one lecture, Minister of Communication and Information Technology Tarek Kamel spoke about developments in the ICT industry, his satisfaction with the industry's growth in Egypt in 2007, and what he hopes to see in 2008.
The forum also tipped its hat to small ICT businesses in a remote area on the second floor, lined with diminutive exhibitions brandishing handmade posters and handwritten advertisements.
Here visitors could find companies providing one-to-one business training skills, antivirus software, and even pornographic website blocking software.
The Cairo ICT runs until February 27. For more information go to www.cairoict.com


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