Saturday, December 14, 2013

Visit to Georgia, talking on eGovernment reform and interoperability

At the end of November 2013 I visited Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, invited by the Ministry of Justice to talk on Government Interoperability issues at the National ICT conference.  
GITI 2013  (Georgian ICT Development and Cyber Security Event) was held in Sheraton Hotel in Tbilisi, gathering a nice mix of local officials, ICT companies and international eGov experts. My presention was about interoperability issues in Governments, especially prescribing the strategy and contents for a National Interoperability Framework in Georgia. You can see my presentation here.

Georgia is a country with a rich history and tradition, located between Caucasus moutain and the black sea.

Two parts of the country (see map), namely South Ossetia and Abkhazia,  are under Russian control, since the latest military disputes in 1991 and 2008.

One can still see reminiscents of the 2008 bombings of military bases, in the mountains outside Tbilisi.

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Tbilisi at sunset

Outside Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Mtskheta

During my stay I also had the chance to meet and collaborate with the Greek Embassy (very energetic) commercial attache, who had the courtesy to introduce me to some representatives of the local business community. 

Then, with my local taxi driver (who had previously spent a couple of years in Greece and could speek Greek quite well) we managed to visit some places in Tbilisi and the old capital outside Tbilisi. 

The Georgian National Museum is certainly a place to get the key facts about the country's history.  Among other exhibitions, the museum also hosts the Museum of Soviet Occupation, providing facts for the sometimes extremely harsh period between 1921 and 1991.

Mtskheta, the old capital, viewed from the monastery of the Cross
Mtskheta, te capital of the country until 17th century,  is a well preserved and partially restored old city dating several centuries ago, located a few miles to the north of Tbilisi.  the most important place to see is the UNESCO-accredited complex of the old city and the prestigious cathedral, dating back to 13th century.