Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Standards Processes

Last week during the Skunkworks Tuesday meeting at OPENWORLD we had a discussion around Technical Committees (TC) that are formed at KEBS to discuss various IT standards.

Special reference was made to the OOXML TC that was involved in the OOXML standard process in Kenya. What was clear from the discussion is that it is important to have more participation within these TCs from across the board. Some key advantages from this is that:
  1. Kenya can begin to grow a IT standards professionals base, this is very critical
  2. More objective review of various proposed standards from a local perspective which will limit unbalanced interference from big international vendors and interest
  3. Kenya can define local standards (of course conforming to international standards where possible) for various things such a PCs, various software and hardware, etc. We stand a chance to thrive in international markets in terms of competitiveness and market penetration is we can base our products and services on verified and recognized standards. How can ensure that our local system builders/computer assemblers package standard PCs for example that meet government and corporate procurement standards..etc
  4. Great opportunity for students/universities to link up with industry through active student engagement in the TCs with support from their professors; i must mention that there is always a sitting allowance of KES. 1,000 which is quite attractive if i were a student. But most importantly, one has the opportunity to gain indepth knowledge of various technology specifications. It is worth noting that students from other emerging parts of the world such as Western Europe, East Asia and Latin America are actively engaged in standard processes and are instrumental in these processes.
  5. This will open up participation of Kenyan professionals to other standard creations processes such as IETF which hosts RFC development processes. Our own Michuki Mwangi has been part of this before and it would be great to have more guys joining RFC working groups.
There are still more proposed standardsTCs that one can participate in at KEBS or even initiate TCs for at KEBS, a list of these is here: http://www.iso.org/iso/standards_development/technical_committees/list_of_iso_technical_committees/iso_technical_committee.htm?commid=45020

Further reference can be made to :

Mwatha Zacheus
Kenya Bureau of Standards
KEBS Centre, Kapiti Road, off Mombasa Road, Behind Bellevue Cinema
P.O. Box 54974 — 00200 Nairobi, Kenya
ISDN: +254 (0)20 6948270
Tel: +254 (0)20 605490, 6948000, (0)722 202137
Fax:+254 (0)20 609660, 604031
Personal cellphone: +254 (0)722 368998



Frankie said...

how does one join skunkworks?
am a Computer science student at jkuat, and hoping to join.

Riyaz said...

Hey Frankie,

You can go to this URL and sign up on the mailing list where most of the action is.