Wednesday, June 3, 2020

iGA holds it eMajlis meeting with the participation of the ICT community in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the GCC

eMajlis participants Reaffirms Importance of Documenting the Kingdom’s Digital Transformation Success

The Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) held its first virtual Ramadan Majlis (iGA eMajlis), covering a range of topics related to digital transformation efforts during the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Held via the Zoom video conferencing platform, the eMajlis was hosted by iGA Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, Deputy Chief Executives, and other iGA officials.

The eMajlis hosted members of the technology community in the Kingdom, including representatives of the public and private sectors. They included officials from technology societies, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), telecommunication companies, universities, the banking and finance industry, from the ICT sector within Economic Development Board (EDB), the health sector, specialized technology companies, and the IT departments of government entities. The guests included participants from Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Jordan.

The iGA expressed its satisfaction with the positive feedback it received on the new communication channel which mimics the atmosphere of a traditional Bahraini majlis, while at the same allowing social distancing measures to remain in place.

iGA eMajlis Poll

Al Qaed expressed his deepest appreciation to all who interacted with the iGA, including citizens, residents, officials, and the guests from abroad. He stressed the importance of listening to the observations of experts and the public, to better understand their points of view when working to meet their needs.

Al Qaed said: “The eMajlis provides a communication platform for the entire spectrum of the technology community. In light of the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in, the iGA sought to deploy the most advanced technologies available to hold these constructive discussions remotely. The feedback and recommendations that participants shared during the eMajlis will be studied and evaluated by specialists at the iGAand implemented if possible.”

The eMajlis included a number of technical discussions covering Bahrain’s success in maintaining the productivity of both the public and private sector, the role of technology in supporting other sectors in the Kingdom, and the current situation’s impact in motivating establishments to develop support services. Other topics included the efficiency of government eServices and its impact in streamlining services for citizens and residents, the notable increase in data usage at telecommunications companies and their ability to handle these high capacities, and the increase in the number of calls to contact centers and online communication channels, which ranges between 50% to 100% within some sectors.

The eMajlis also included discussions on the importance of documenting the Kingdom’s experience in deploying technology in limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus, including an evaluation of its performance during the current pandemic, and the organization of a national conference to discuss its digital transformation experience with public and private sector participants; the Kingdom’s remote learning experience and ways of improving it; the iGA’s role in providing support to online services provided by the Ministry of Education; the digital transformation in services offered by the Ministry of Justice, Endowments & Islamic Affairs, which opened the door to online legal services and for commercial cases to be filed electronically; and the importance of providing sufficient budgets to support the technology sector in Bahrain and the GCC to help it keep pace with global developments in digital transformation and digital content.

They also discussed other aspects of digital transformation in the Kingdom, including the availability of popular online shopping apps, which are a good indicator of the advancements made in eCommerce in the Kingdom. The most prominent eServices provided by iGA were highlighted and the authority was praised for its comprehensive range of ID card services including eight new eServices, and enhancements made to four others.

The eMajlis included a survey on which industries in the Kingdom are most likely to be impacted by digital transformation in the post-Coronavirus era, which contributed to the discussions between the participants.

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