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In the framework of the workshop on Information Systems for Agricultural Research for Development, the Fifth AARINENA ICT-RAIS Steering Committee meeting was held in Cairo, Egypt on the 29th of May 2007. Representatives of the AARINENA RAIS-ICT Steering Committee from AARINENA 5 sub-regions and representatives of FAO, and AOAD attended the meeting.

Dr. Mohammad Sallam, Chairman of the Steering Committee, outlined the progress made since the Amman meeting in April 2006. The achievements include: participation in the last Steering Committee Meeting and relevant meetings, preparation and revision of the ICT-RAIS work plan 2007-2009, preparation of TORs of Focal Units and follow up of their establishment with NARS leaders, establishment of focal units within AREA-Yemen and ARC-Oman, preparation of a concept note for strengthening NAIS and RAIS, seeking support for training from donors, coordination and follow up on relevant training courses. Dr. Sallam explained that lack of funds for implementing the prepared ICT-RAIS work plan and lack of proper interactions and responsiveness by NARS leaders and some of the committee members in the establishment of focal units were the main constraints.

The meeting discussed and deliberated on the following:
  • AARINENA will champion the implementation of the NERAKIN plarform and decide on the course of actions required.
  • NERAKIN should focus on the thematic regional network module while NARIMS should focus on the national level.
  • Information on NARIMS and NERAKIN should be fed to the AARINENA-RAIS website and electronic versions of both reports should be circulated.
  • Member countries should be provided with beta copies for testing prior to implementation of NARIMS and NERAKIN.