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Issues like unemployment and healthcare can be addressed with technology, writes John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco.

By John Chambers, May 27, 2015

… Across the region we are starting to see the impact of connectivity.

In the UAE, the vison of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai a smart city by utilising technology to create a new reality, is already coming to fruition. Sensors embedded throughout the city will connect everything from utility use to traffic, improving the lives of citizens and creating a potential value of $4.87 billion (Dhs17.9 billion) by 2019.

Qatar is also facing increased urgency to implement a smart city plan with the upcoming World Cup 2022. It also recently unveiled the Qatar National Vision 2030 with the goal to turn the country into one that listens, learns, and responds to its citizens’ daily needs, making an impact in every field: education, healthcare, energy, security, and transportation.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has also invested billions of dollars to build four new economic cities in order to diversify and move gross domestic product away from the hydrocarbon sector (oil accounts for 94 per cent of the country’s export revenue).

The smart cities are expected to support the creation of a knowledge economy that will provide the country’s youth with the skills required for professional and senior-level jobs. Link


Market for startups in Lebanon

The Central Bank has launched a package worth over $1 billion to encourage startups in Lebanon. … [Central Bank Governor Riad] Salameh explained that the future of the Lebanese economy depends on three major sectors, namely the financial sector, the knowledge economy and the oil and gas sector.

“These sectors are going to act as a booster for the Lebanese traditional economic sectors and they will provide job opportunities for the younger Lebanese,” he said. “This is why the Central Bank of Lebanon has deployed efforts and encouraged accelerators in the country whereby it is granting a 100 percent guarantee for investments in startups,” he added.  Link


“Parents, care-givers, and organisations who work with children from birth to age 4 help to build the basis of skills that enable children to succeed as students and learners. Building a knowledge economy for the Qatar National Vision 2030 does not start at university or secondary school. It starts at birth,” Ms Mitchell added.  Link


STC in KSA & IBC’s in UAE

Saudi Telecom Company announces Q1 results

STC Group Chairman Abdulaziz Alsugair said: “The strong financial results achieved for the 1st quarter of 2015 reflect the efforts being made to constantly evolve, improve and develop the company’s strategy and operations both domestically and internationally. … The aim is to provide a robust quality infrastructure that support solutions and services exceeding the current customer needs. Such efforts place STC at the forefront of the regional Telecoms, who are laying the infrastructure for the knowledge economy.” Link

Dubai can be the talent hub for the next generation

With almost 40 IBCs [International Branch Campus], the UAE is currently home to the highest number of IBCs in the world, and this number is only expected to grow. This rise is spurred by rising numbers of young people throughout Middle Eastern populations, its convenient location and driven by governmental initiatives such as the UAE’s innovation and knowledge economy strategies, both designed to diversify the GDP away from oil.

The knowledge economy agenda implemented by the UAE Government has created significant job opportunities for students in the GCC. As the economy and opportunities grow, so does competition, and so the fight for the best jobs rests on the level and quality of education the graduate can present.  Link


Kenya’s Knowledge Economy

Kenya, the third fastest-growing economy in the world right now, has every intention of creating a Knowledge Economy. As the ICT Master Plan states, it is “a roadmap” to just such a destination, with technology driving insight into all Vision 2030 pillars: social, political and economic. But just what is a Knowledge Economy and does Kenya understand everything it takes to get there? Will it it be Government-led, entrepreneur-led – or will the innovator lead us there? … We need only look at international success stories because creating a truly world-class Knowledge Economy has been done before. … In 2001, public sector company, FINEP, whose role is to foster science, tech and innovation across the [Brazilian] ecosystem, established INOVAR – the Brazilian innovation agency. It has played a crucial role in any Knowledge Economy – that of the catalyst. … A Knowledge Economy, therefore, cannot only be entrepreneurial-or-innovator-led, because Brazil had plenty of those and it wasn’t working. It must engage the public sector, too. … Even President Barack Obama, soon to land in a conference auditorium near you, will wade into a discussion around growing businesses at Kenya’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in July. … For Kenya, Government, entrepreneurs and innovators must come together to realise that we can turn the invisible – the dream of creating collective prosperity via a true Knowledge Economy – into the visible. But we must trek that road together.  Link


MAY 12, 2015

The 2015 Building a Grad Nation report is released annually by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. For more information about the report, go to www.GradNation.org/GradReport.

Contact:   Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov


China, Qatar, UAE

Zhejiang to Provide Free WiFi Services across the Province – Tourists will be able to enjoy free WiFi services in east China’s Zhejiang Province soon. The construction of “i-zhejiang”, a free WiFi service, is now underway. The project is part of a broader plan to create a “knowledge economy” in the province.  Link

The Business Year launches Qatar 2015 – In his keynote address, HE Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar’s Minister of Economy & Commerce, said, “Ministry of Economy & Commerce seek to direct the Qatari economic policies towards implementation that approach to reduce relying on Hydrocarbons, as well as by boosting private sector’s role, income resources diversity and develop investment environment. … The launch ceremony was followed by a panel discussion focusing on ICT and the knowledge economy. Moderated by TBY’s Managing Editor, Leland Rice, the discussion focused on the role of ICT in supporting Qatar’s national objectives, especially with regard to the development of its knowledge based economy. Panelists included Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank, Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Kuwari, Managing Director of Qatar Science & Technology Park, and Mubarak Bin Abdulla Al-Sulaiti, Chairman of Al-Sulaiti Law Firm, an eclectic mix of some of the brightest and most knowledgeable minds of Qatar’s economy.  Link

‘Knowledge-based economy vital to stand tall among developed nations’ – ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed on Sunday highlighted importance of a knowledge-based economy for enlisting the country among comity of developed nations.  Link

Dubai Media City headline partner for first Festival of Media MENA – Speaking about the conference, Mohammad Abdullah, said:

“The Festival of Media is a true celebration of creativity and innovation, and we are delighted to have supported the inaugural Middle East conference. Dubai being selected as the location to host the event is testament to the widespread growth of the emirate’s media industry. We will continue to pledge our support to festivals and platforms that encourage the growth of the sector here in Dubai, and look at ways in which we can promote the development of talent.”

Dubai is championing innovation across all industries within the Emirate. Dubai Media has pioneered creativity and talent across the media value chain, providing cutting-edge, industry-specific infrastructure and facilities, as well as networking opportunities, to companies of all sizes. DMC has created a real ecosystem for the media industry in Dubai and played a major role in the Emirate’s development into a knowledge-economy, and is now a frontrunner in the Government’s Innovation Strategy.  Link


“Europeans have a positive view of the value of science and technological advance as a means of addressing future societal challenges, notably in healthcare ( 117). This is just as well, given that the technological revolution is likely to have a profound effect on societies, individuals, and the latter’s working lives and social relationships. It will introduce a radical change in the traditional economic categories and in the meaning of the concepts of work, training and retirement: it is becoming increasingly clear that individuals will alternate between successive phases of work, training, and periods out of the work force throughout their lives.

More fundamentally, the challenge for European society is to adapt and change its structures and rules while maintaining its values. This requires a strong and inclusive social dialogue, openness to risk, and clear public policies at the service of individuals, so as to ensure their acceptance. The citizens of the knowledge economy cannot be satisfied with the same level of information and participation as those of the 1960s. As European Union decisions impact them much more directly, corresponding progress in democratic accountability and legitimacy is required for the Europe system.”  The full report here


USA, UAE, KSA, Sri Lanka, & Mauritius

America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review

A new report, America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review, released today by Elsevier, a world-leading provider of information solutions, and The Council of State Governments (CSG), the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state governments: “Few organizations recognize more deeply the value of higher education and the social and economic impact of academic research than Elsevier,” said Brad Fenwick, senior vice president for global strategic alliances at Elsevier. “The report, in collaboration with CSG, uses Elsevier’s unique data and analytics systems to showcase the knowledge economy that flows from universities to the economic well-being and future of each state.”  Link

Towards knowledge economy: Over 4,000 students take part in survey

ABU DHABI: More than 4,000 students from across private and public schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are taking part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a survey which aims to measure how far 15-year old students approaching the end of their schooling education, have acquired knowledge and skills essential for full participation in a knowledge-based economy.  Link

Jacobs to advise on three Saudi industrial cities

Jacobs Group Vice President Bassim Shebaro said: “We are delighted that our relationship with MODON continues to grow. We look forward to supporting MODON through the provision of our local and global program management and construction management expertise, and supporting Saudi Arabia’s mission of achieving a knowledge-based economy and industrial diversification.”  Link

WIPO, Sri Lanka, and the Knowledge Economy

The Director General of the Geneva based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Dr. Francis Gurry, has assured support to the government’s policy of orienting Sri Lanka towards a knowledge and innovation economy. Recalling his visit to Colombo in November 2013 when a 10 Point Action Plan was developed to strengthen IP related activity in the country and cooperation between Sri Lanka and the WIPO, Dr. Gurry commended the progress already made under this programme, and discussed modalities to further assist Sri Lanka.  Link

Mauritius, IP and the Knowledge Economy

‘Intellectual Property is increasingly recognised as an economic asset as Mauritius moves towards a knowledge-based economy. Digital technology, Internet, Communication, Biotechnology as well as skilled people play a critical role in what is termed as the knowledge economy‘, said the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, this morning at Ebène Cyber Tower 1, in Ebène Cyber-city.  Link


Kenya’s ICT Authority (ICTA) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft which will see 10,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) brought online within three years, among a number of other initiatives aimed at strengthening the country’s ICT capacity. … The agreement also stipulates 1.2 million devices will be distributed to primary and secondary schools by 2016, supported by the training of 30,000 teachers under the “Microsoft Partners in Learning” course over the next five years. ICTA said the MoU forms part of the government’s priority strategy to grow Kenya’s knowledge economy, and supports the country’s plans to become a regional ICT leader. “Building local ICT capacity forms an important part of our Kenya Vision 2030 and shift from a labour-based to a middle-income, knowledge economy. The ICT Masterplan also recognizes that to be a leader in ICT we need to up the skills of our workforce,” said Joseph Tiampati, principal secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of ICT. … “Investing in Africa’s skills for both entrepreneurship and employability is key in helping Africans find and create jobs to promote inclusive economic growth and we look forward to working with the Ministry of ICT on this,” said Ali Faramawy, corporate vice president at Microsoft, for the Middle East and Africa region. Disrupt Africa reported last month Microsoft launched the Biz4Afrika portal for Kenyan SMEs, providing access to information, and an online community for entrepreneurs; with Microsoft saying entrepreneurs are increasingly becoming one of East Africa’s greatest assets. “Initiatives like the Biz4Afrika portal and this MOU are essential for the development of ICT skills in Kenya to promote entrepreneurship,” said Victor Kyalo, chief executive officer (CEO) of ICTA. “Kenya is already Africa’s third largest knowledge economy and the country leads the global mobile economy, with about 40 per cent of the country’s GDP transacting through mobile phones every day. …”  Link