*Rwanda hopes to work with the partners at this event to develop the right technology to deal with the implications of urbanisation in order to achieve the best results and outcomes: Paul Kagame
Qatar’s hosting of the Smart City Expo Doha Wednesday showcased the country’s eagerness to improve the lives of its people and residents by utilising top tier technologies and innovation, according to Fira Barcelona president of International Business Ricardo Zapatero.
Fira de Barcelona is one of the most important trade fair organisations in Europe in terms of the volume and quality of its events.
Zapatero made the statement during the expo’s first edition, which was opened by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani together with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
“Doha's accession to the global network of organised cities is a reflection of the Qatari government’s applaudable commitment to the transition to smart cities, and cities are looking at Doha’s experience in this regard,” Zapatero stressed.
“Today, Qatar is showing the world that it is seeking to improve the lives of citizens with the help of modern technology, and this is a success story for the region and it puts Qatar at the forefront in this field.
“We are keen to showcase and highlight the Qatari experience in the global smart city community, and we will work with the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Qatar to expand and develop the next edition of the event,” he said.
The Smart City Expo Doha, organised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), in partnership with Fira de Barcelona, aims to introduce innovative technology that will contribute to improving the lives of citizens, residents, and visitors through social inclusion, sustainability, and empowerment.
In his opening speech, HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti congratulated Kagame and his country’s milestones in the fields of digitalisation, making it “an inspiration for many economies around the world.”
“In a short period of time, the Republic of Rwanda has been able to become an inspiration to many in Africa and the world, and Kigali has earned itself a reputation as Africa’s leading city and a true global example of what smart cities can achieve.
“Our two countries are united by two main and influential factors: visionary and committed leaders, represented by the leadership of the both countries; and the accelerated pace of development, thanks to smart investment in infrastructure, enhancing the investment climate, and the continued support by the state for companies and institutions from the government and private sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” al-Sulaiti said.
For his part, Kagame said: “It is an honour to be here at this important event showcasing the important role technology is playing in urbanisation. We hope to work with the partners at this event to develop the right technology to deal with the implications of urbanisation in order to achieve the best results and outcomes.”
Kagame also commended Rwanda’s partnership with Qatar in the field of smart cities, “especially that both countries are among the top 10 globally in the future vision and speed of response to address its requirements.”
Kagame also praised the efforts of the state of Qatar for corruption-free societies “and the vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani".
The event was also attended by HE the Minister of Finance Ali Sharif al-Emadi, HE the Minister of State and Ooredoo Group chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani, and HE the Minister of State and Qatar Free Zones Authority chairman Ahmed bin Mohamed al-Sayed.
The expo’s second event Thursday at the Qatar National Convention Centre is scheduled to witness a ministerial session with the participation of al-Sulaiti and Rwanda’s Minister of Information Technology, Communications and Innovation Paula Ingabeer, Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohamed Jawad Azari Jahrami, and Armenia’s Minister of Technology Hakob Archakian.