Qatar’s rapid progress and the advancements it has made in its digital transformation journey have played a crucial role in fostering innovation and enhancement of efficiency, a top official of the Communications and Regulatory Authority (CRA) said Monday.
Speaking at the session ‘Building a Digital Economy: Is Your Country Future-Ready?’ held on the sidelines of Doha Forum, CRA president Ahmad Abdulla al-Muslemani shared examples of how Qatar leveraged advanced technology, particularly during the 2022 FIFA World Cup preparation and for modernising communication and information exchange.
Al-Muslemani also highlighted other major initiatives done by the Qatari government to migrate to the cloud. He said more than “40%” of consumer services in Qatar today are powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
“We recently hosted Microsoft, their regional hub, and also Google, not only to serve the State of Qatar, but also the region,” he pointed out.
From a regulatory perspective, al-Muslemani emphasised the importance of empowering businesses to compete effectively in the market workplace. He highlighted the need for regulatory frameworks to evolve harmoniously with technology, ensuring consumer protection and facilitating smooth navigation in the digital environment.
Acting as both an innovator and a regulator, al-Muslemani explained how the CRA is balancing between digital technologies, digital transformation, and regulation. He emphasised that the CRA has taken a “comprehensive approach,” noting the authority’s “dynamic and forward-thinking regulatory framework,” which was implemented to foster innovation while ensuring relevance and reliability.
“Emphasising the challenges of technology convergence, the CRA adopted an integrated regulatory framework, avoiding separate approaches to telecom, IT, and media regulations,” said al-Muslemani, citing the example of the cloud policy framework, setting guidelines, implementing regulatory measures, and collaborating with industry partners to share knowledge and ideas.
Al-Muslemani said, “The CRA has empowered its staff with knowledge and put them with the knowledge that is needed to tackle all the regulatory matters. Awareness and enhancing awareness between the stakeholders are crucial.”
According to al-Muslemani, the CRA is also focused on adaptability, collaboration, and proactive engagement within a reliable framework. He also highlighted the significance of striking a balance in the ever-evolving landscape of digital transformation and regulation.
During the panel discussion, which was moderated by CNBC anchor and correspondent Dan Murphy, al-Muslemani was joined by Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and chairperson of the Revolutionary Council; Arnoldo André Tinoco, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica; Dr Bruno Lanvin, founder and president of the Descartes Institute for the Future; Keyzom Ngodup Massally, head of Digital Programmes, Chief Digital Office at the UN Development Programme (UNDP); and Selim Eddé, director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Emerging Markets at Google Cloud.
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