Digital transformation will empower governments: UAE Minister

Digital will empower governments to take leapfrogs in tackling challenges and seizing opportunities across all sectors, said Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumy, UAE Minister of State for Government Development and the Future.

Speaking on Wednesday at the ‘Digitalization and new skills’ forum, organised by TIM Group with the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, she said that the pace of technological advancements and digital transformation is accelerating drastically. “Today, we are witnessing years’ worth of digital transformation happening in a matter of months, and the world is likely to experience more technological changes in the next 10 years than it did in the past 100 years.”

Digital transformation, she said, comes with new challenges such as evolving customer experiences, expectations, and needs to have services that are productive, proactive, personalised, and available at any given time and place.

“It also changes the nature of work and skills needed, widening the skills gap,” she noted. “It, however, also creates opportunities for governments, businesses, and people alike. First, and foremost, it is the main economic driver of economic value. By 2023, digitally transformed enterprises are expected to account for $53 trillion, more than half of the global GDP.”

Moreover, she explained that digital transformation boosts productivity, increases efficiency, reduces cost, and simlifies peoples’ lives. “In the UAE, we had the foresight to anticipate these opportunities early on. When we started our e-government programme 20 years ago, there was no pressing need for it at that time. However, that foresight gave us resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensured the continuity of our services and businesses. The past two years demonstrated that, when there is a sense of urgency, governments have an unprecedented ability for innovation, agility, and speed of delivery.”

She concluded her opening remarks by saying that governments need to act in three key areas to embrace the opportunities that digital transformation offers, which include changing the mindset, bridging the skill gap, and building future partnerships.

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The forum brought together several experts to highlight the benefits that a more widespread digital literacy and skillset will have on people’s daily lives and the labour market and how to fully implement a system of digital lifelong learning for all. The event also explored how governments and public administrations can best use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to embrace good government principles, achieve policy goals and ensure a better future for all.

“The TIM Group has always been committed to implementing network infrastructure and developing new technologies. So, ensuring the spread of digital skills is certainly the most important social mission of our company,” said Salvatore Rossi, chairman of TIM. “Digital can be an extraordinary tool for economic and social growth that leaves no one behind. Sustainability and digitalization in our vision are strongly connected, bringing our contribution and our excellences in a prestigious setting such as Expo 2020 Dubai is a source of great pride.”

“Italy’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai, dedicated to connecting countries, cultures and skills as a generative factor for development and sustainability, makes digitalization a decisive factor in innovation, multilateral diplomacy and social equity,” added Paolo Glisenti, commissioner for Italian Participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.”

Given the framework of ‘Italia Digitale 2026’, Italy aims at becoming a leader in digital development. One of the goals of the plan is to ensure at least 70 per cent of the population gets proper digital skills in order to realise an inclusive and equal digital transition.

Source: Khaleej Times