Global ICT leaders, dignitaries from the Arab world set the agenda for the application of emerging technologies for a prosperous digital economy
Held under the theme of “Collaboration to Drive Innovations in the Arab World,” Huawei Arab Innovation Day 2021 witnessed landmark keynotes and discussions led by ministerial and senior leaders from the Arab governments, regional and international ICT organizations and high-level technology stakeholders from different verticals and industries.
The opening keynote was delivered by Catherine Chen, Senior VP, Director of the Board and President of Public Affairs and Communications Dept, Huawei, who showcased that Huawei firmly believes in working together to create a better future for shared success, and that the company is keen to openly work with more partners to create a digital future of shared prosperity. Participants at the Huawei Arab Innovation Day also included H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, H.E. Arkan Shahab, Minister of Communications, Iraq, and H.E. Sameera Ebrahim Bin Rajb, The Special Envoy for the Royal Court of Bahrain.
Huawei Arab Innovation Day 2021 set the regional agenda for driving digital transformation and the adoption and application of advanced technologies in the Arab world while reiterating the need for nurturing local ICT talent and robust cybersecurity measures. Regional leaders also took the opportunity to shed light on the advantages of integrating technologies like 5G, Cloud and AI in the development of verticals, key industries, businesses and services, sharing best practices, challenges and solutions. Government leaders from across the Arab world underlined the crucial role of ICT technologies in supporting their states’ ambitious national plans and visions.
H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship & SMEs, commented: “I am delighted to be a part of Huawei Arab Innovation Day during #GITEX2021. The UAE is an innovation incubator in various fields, and has long recognized the role technology plays in catalyzing innovation. With the potential and necessity of innovation, and our leadership’s vision, the UAE embraces the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead by promoting technical innovation, fostering creative minds, and turning challenges into opportunities.”
Steven Yi, President for the Middle East at Huawei, said: “In the Arab region, digital technologies have ushered historical transformation and enabled the Arab leaders to diversify and strengthen economies. ICT technologies are at the core of many Arab states’ national agendas and visions, and we’re honored to provide an unparalleled platform that inspired collaboration to drive the next phase of socio-economic growth in the Arab world, driven by ICT innovations.”
The day-long event focused on three key themes – digital transformation, ICT for education and talent development, and cybersecurity. The first panel discussion moderated by Mr. Toni Eid, CEO of Trace Media and Founder of Telecom Review on “ICT Innovation to Drive Digital Transformation in the Arab World” witnessed esteemed speakers discussing some of the challenges faced in the digital transformation journey, particularly in light of the pandemic influence, and how the ICT industry can contribute towards digitalization and collaboration for future success. The panelists included Adel Darwish, Regional Director of ITU, Dr. Ammar Alhusaini, Deputy Director-General of the Central Agency for Information and Technology, Kuwait, Dr. Jassim Haji, President of International Group of Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Fahem Al Nuaimi, CEO of Ankabut, and Ghazi Atallah, CEO of NXN (neXgen group). The panel was preluded by a keynote speech by Mr. Wang Tao (David Wang), Executive Director of the Board and Chairman of ICT Infrastructure Managing Board. He shed light on how digitalization inspires economic growth.
To set the stage for the discussions on ICT for education and talent development panel, Tao Zhan, Director, UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE), delivered a keynote speech on the importance of public-private sector collaboration in nurturing the ICT talent ecosystem. This was followed by a presentation on the future of innovation in education in the era of disruptive technology given by Dr. Eesa Al Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, and a keynote speech by Dr. Marita Hojeij, Professor at USEK University in Lebanon, which highlighted the role of women in technology.
The panelists for the discussion on “ICT Innovation to Drive Talent Ecosystem for Better Education in the Arab World”, which was moderated by technology and business journalist Iyad El Dirany of Al Iktissad Wal Aamal, were Dr. Eesa Al Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, Dr. Ali Saudi Al Bimani, Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Science and Technology, Oman, Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar, CEO of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, Dr. Meqbel Mishari Al Edan, VP of Studies, Development & Community Engagement and Head of Innovation & Business Development Sector, King Faisal University, and Dr. Riad Sakr, Vice President of American University of Science and Technology, Lebanon.
Ahead of the final panel discussion on cybersecurity, Jawad Abbasi, Head of MENA at GSMA, delivered a keynote highlighting GSMA 5G security standards and the importance of open collaboration on security and standardization. Also, Camille Moukarzel, President of PCA Lebanon and VP of ARISPA, along with Tariq Al Barwani, Founder of Knowledge Oman, delivered keynotes addressing the importance of public-private partnerships, cooperation and transparency in cyber space.
The panel discussion, moderated by Adnane Ben Halima, Vice President of Public Relations for the Mediterranean Region of Huawei Northern Africa, examined some obstacles in building an ecosystem within cybersecurity, ways to establish a secure and resilient digital economy, and the need to develop a public-private framework to build trust and information sharing within the Arab world. The participants included Dr. Abdullah Alharbi, Dean of Applied Computer Sciences College, King Saud University, Walid Kamal, SVP of Technology, Security and Risk Management Group at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du Telecom), Mme Wala Turki, Advisor to Tunisian Minister of ICT and Vice Chairperson of International Telecommunication Union ITU-T SG17: Cybersecurity, Ibrahim Mohammed Alshmranie, Cyber Security Officer at Huawei Saudi Arabia, Khalid Machchate, Division Director for Innovation, Technology and Investment ([email protected]) Morocco, and Amer Sharaf, CEO of Compliance & Support Alliances at Dubai Electronic Security Centre.
Alongside the event, Huawei also highlighted how it is leveraging cutting-edge capabilities, expertise, and technology to support developers. The tech giant provides workshops, training, and certifications to developers, students, and startup communities. In its annual global competition, the Huawei HMS App Innovation Contest (Apps UP), developers are offered US$1 million in cash prizes – with various categories of choice to enter, such as the Best Social Impact App and Excellent Student Award. These initiatives by Huawei have successfully demonstrated the potential of tech to positively impact communities and the need to empower developers, students, and startups alike. This falls in line with Huawei’s commitment to bringing digital to every person and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.
Huawei has also been enabling the next generation of developers and students through hands-on, real-life experience by providing online courses, training teacher resources, activities and onsite open labs. One such initiative is Huawei Student Developers (HSD), which is a community group for college and university students interested in Huawei technologies, where they can familiarize themselves with cutting-edge technologies and obtain knowledge and experience through hands-on practice. HSD empowers students to expand their scope of knowledge in a dynamic peer-to-peer learning environment.
The tech giant also announced the launch of the Huawei HMS Certificate Program which aims to boost developers’ employability and expand their digital skills. Interested developers and students can apply for the certificate in three easy steps on this link: https://bit.ly/3DT4eRw
Huawei Arab Innovation Day 2021 took place on October 19 at Al Multaqa Ballroom, Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, on the sidelines of GITEX Global. Huawei is also participating at GITEX Global under the theme of “Dive into Digital” and is presenting a comprehensive series of summits, exhibitions, and partnerships at the event. A Platinum Partner to this year’s GITEX, Huawei is demonstrating the growing value of digitalization to national economies and how cutting-edge technologies are likely to be applied across vertical industries in the year ahead. Located in Za’abeel Hall 1, Huawei’s GITEX stand exhibition is proudly supported by Mindware, Redington Gulf, Gulf Applications (GAPP), and Enterprise Systems. More information on Huawei’s GITEX participation can be found here.