Following the Workshop held on the INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - ISO/IEC DIS29500 OOXML at African Regent Hotel on the 14th of August, 2007 the Ghana Standards Board as a follow up organised a stakeholder workshop on 27th of August 2007 at the KOFI ANNAN INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN ICT to further discuss and ballot on Ghana's position on the standard.Andrea Ebert from Microsoft participated and shared his views with you.
What is Open Standards all about?
Open Standards is one form to achieve the broader goal of interoperability. Interoperability is the technique to connect data, systems and humans together helping to achieve collaboration. Open Standards is one way of doing that. There are other options available like community and services so Standards and Open Standars is one important thing we can use to achieve interoperability.
What does the Government and the people of Ghana stand to benefit from participating in this process of Standard setting?
You need to distinguish between Governement involvement and the standardisation process. Standardisation by itself is an appreciation and specification for the future and the development of specifications is the responsibility of a standard body or a technical committee. Governments separately and independently have the option to use or not to use certain specifications in a way. So there is definately independency between Government involvement but it is more a Country's or standard body's objective to achieve a common agreement on how a standard should be agreed upon and implemented.
What is your advice to the Government on the issue of Standard Setting?
It is hard for me especially from the private industrty to give advice to the Governement but listening to the debate today as an observer, it is a very important role to play in the transformation it society into what is called a knowledg based society, so Government's contribution to this debate is a significant one and it will look forward to solving upcoming challenges and the journey the Governeement and its partners in this Country have on the way to a knowledge-based society.