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HomeIn focusInside BahrainLeadership support for Al Qaeda boosts digital transformation in Bahrain at WEF

Leadership support for Al Qaeda boosts digital transformation in Bahrain at WEF

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In line with directives of HE Gen. Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior, Chairman of the Ministerial Committee of Information and Communication Technology (MCICT), the Kingdom of Bahrain, represented by the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA)participated at the ‘World Economic Forum “GovTech Network” in Geneva, Switzerland. The event brought together policymakers, technology innovators, academia, and research centers such as the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, VISA, the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, and other global organizations. The event’s objective is to discuss emerging technologies such as Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and their impact on government services, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

iGA Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed highlighted the unwavering support for digital transformation by Bahrain’s senior leadership which led to the development of many services, applications, and government systems.

During the ‘Future of GovTech’ session, Al Qaed said that the COVID-19 pandemic was a key driver in accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies in government services to ensure the continuity of operations in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, ICT has contributed to growth that surpasses expectations in vital areas such as e-commerce and distance learning.

Al Qaed emphasized the importance of the digital channels development by many governments and other entities that enable all segments of society to participate and ensure that is inclusive for everyone. He highlighted the Kingdom’s notable experience in this area demonstrated by the National Suggestion & Complaint system – Tawasul, which allows the public to engage with government entities and submit their complaints, inquiries, and suggestions interactively through digital channels. Tawasul has fostered the community participation by the active response to the suggestions and complaints while promoting engagement across all segments. This is complemented by enhanced participation through social media, electronic and field surveys, blogs, and more.

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The forum’s topics also addressed the importance of building a competent workforce capable of harnessing and adapting emerging technologies to improve government systems and services. Al Qaed highlighted the significance of human resource development in this field, particularly the Technical Development Program, which is carried out in collaboration with concerned government entities, and aims to cultivate a skilled and experienced national ICT workforce.

During a session on ‘Government Ecosystem’, Al Qaed discussed potential and innovative solutions for government operations offered by cloud computing. He highlighted the importance of enhancing collaboration with leading global players, explaining that Bahrain has actively pursued this through its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide the infrastructure for hosting government services on cloud. This partnership has strengthened the ability of government entities to innovate, improve operational efficiency, and expand their storage capacities. He added that it is important to establish a trusted digital identity via the adoption of technologies like AI, cloud computing, and others in providing government services. He affirmed the iGA’s commitment to this endeavor through a partnership with a specialized digital identity company.

He also discussed the significance of data and its role in shaping policies, strategies, and decision-making. He highlighted the iGA’s efforts in launching an Open Data Policy to regulate data exchange with the public and enhance transparency in data presentation, all within well- structured governance frameworks. He mentioned a recent collaboration with a leading open data company to establish a national Open Data Portal that covers areas such as healthcare, population, labor, education, land, economy, investment, culture, marriage and divorce, agriculture, trade, tourism, and more.

Al Qaed said that the Kingdom is prepared to showcase its initiatives and success stories with the world, along with successful products developed by Bahraini startups that align with the objectives of the event.

GovTech aims to create a community of decision-makers, ICT leaders, international institutions, academia, and global research centers to discuss frameworks for international cooperation in digital transformation among government entities.

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