The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has wrapped up its virtual forum on ‘New Technologies and Digital Transformation’, organised last week by MoTC’s Digital Industry Department represented by the Digital Transformation of SMEs Programme, in co-operation with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
The one-day forum, which attracted some 240 attendees, highlighted the role of the new technologies, particularly AI, in accelerating the digital transformation. It also discussed digital transformation’s concepts, challenges, socioeconomic impact, and best regional and global practices on developing relevant plans and policies with an overview of global and regional indicators measuring national progress in digital transformation.
The event’s three sessions revolved around digital transformation and AI, AI application cases in Qatar, and digitising SMEs in the Arab region. The forum features renowned local and international speakers with experience in the domain.
MoTC’s assistant undersecretary of Digital Society Development Reem Mohamed al-Mansoori said, “The world is living the era of digital transformation where brand-new technology trends are grabbing headlines, such as machine learning, IoT, and big data, and one of those key technologies is AI, which is becoming one of the most powerful drivers of digital transformation.”
She said AI is helping transform businesses in almost all industries; when it comes to SMEs, AI helps increase business efficiency, save time and effort, increase productivity, and improve products and customer experience.
“Digitally transforming the SMEs has been one of MoTC’s priorities over the past three years and our Digital Transformation of SMEs Programme has to date provided over 400 workshops to more than 8,000 enterprises in many sectors, aiming to raise awareness of using, adopting and benefiting from the potentials of digital technology and this helped them withstand the impacts of the pandemic,” al-Mansoori added.
In his lecture, regional advisor on Technology for Development at UN-ESCWA, Dr Mohamed Nawar al-Awa, said digital transformation today represents an opportunity to provide new development opportunities, and digital platforms have become a major pillar in administrative and institutional work, as they allow to reach out to all members of society and reduce bureaucracy and corruption.
Digital technology, he noted, could also support young innovators and entrepreneurs to develop high value-added applications and create new job opportunities.
The forum touched upon new initiatives developed by ESCWA and its Centre of Entrepreneurship for Digitising SMEs; one of its key objectives was to raise local companies’ awareness of relevant regional initiatives.
In addition to al-Awa, the forum also featured key local and international speakers, including the ESCWA Technology Centre executive director Kareem Hassan and representatives from MoTC and its TASMU Smart Qatar Programme.