The Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA), representing Bahrain, participated at Digital Government Forum 2022, a pioneering event covering digital themes, which was held at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Held under the theme ‘Towards a Promising Horizon’, the event showcased the latest achievement by digital governments. The event aims to help enhance communications, provide a platform for the exchange of information about digital transformation, encourage the study of challenges, and develop partnerships between Arab countries in the field of digital governance.
iGA Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed was a panelist at one of the forum’s sessions, titled ‘The Future of Digital Governments. He highlighted Bahrain’s digital government experience, emphasising that the support of the Kingdom’s senior leadership has enabled the readiness of a high quality ICT infrastructure and e-Channels that have helped provide numerous government services online to citizens and residents. It also allowed for the creation of new systems that supported electronic integration between government organisations, providing supporting policies for technology such as the Digital Policies and Cloud-First Policy, and encouraging the deployment of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the development of government platforms such as Al-Tajer app, Benayat, and Sijilat, which have enhanced digital innovation and supported entrepreneurship and data governance.
All of these achievements played a major role in enabling Bahrain to combat the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are also in line with the objectives of the Telecommunications, ICT, and Digital Economy Sector Strategy (2022-2026), part of the Economic Recovery Plan.
Al Qaed said that the key to digital transformation is the establishment of a unified digital identity for organisations and individuals in the Kingdom. Bahrain is keen to utilise applications for biometric measurement technologies, such as eye and facial recognition. It has also taken steps towards national data governance, which ensures the availability of accurate and trusted data, and has deployed AI in decision-making.
He added that the Kingdom is committed to transferring the knowledge and experience with other countries, particularly when it comes to sharing data. He cited some examples, including Bahrain’s and Saudi Arabia’s exchange of vaccination details of their citizens and residents during the pandemic.
He talked about the importance of the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO), which works towards enhancing cooperation through entrepreneurship, innovation, business growth, and employment in a shared digital economy.
He also noted the efforts of international organisations such as the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in promoting digital transformation through the exchange of information and experience.
The event was organised by the Digital Government Authority (DGA) in Saudi Arabia and attended by ministers, senior officials, and digital government practitioners from the region and across the world.
A number of activities took place on the sidelines of the forum, including the GCC eGovernment Executive Committee meeting, the announcement of the findings of the 2022 Digital Transformation Report, the launch of new digital government offerings, and a ceremony honoring the winners of Saudi Arabia’s Digital Government Award.-TradeArabia News Service