The Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, in co-operation with the Unesco office in Doha, organised a virtual seminar on Information and Communication Technology for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.
The seminar was attended by Secretary-General of the Qatar National Committee for Education, Culture and Science Dr Hamada Hasan al-Sulaiti, Director of Unesco's Doha Office Dr Anna Paolini, Omani National Committee for Education, Culture and Science expert Dr Khalid al-Balushi, Qatar University's Dr Mayamin Altae, the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Qatar's Sarah al-Hussaini, Director General of the National Agency for Information Safety from Tunisia Mohamed Nofal, member of the National Programme for Artificial Intelligence from the Sultanate of Oman Mohamed al-Naabi and Mada Assistive Technology Center's Al Dana al-Mohannadi.
At the beginning of the seminar, Educational and Cultural Affairs Researcher from the Qatar National Committee Ashwaq al-Kubaisi reviewed the objectives of the seminar, which aspires to provide policy and decision-makers information on the importance of the digital information society, and the pursuit of progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, community awareness, and technology and information education to achieve smart and sustainable development.
The seminar also discussed several topics, including technological development and sustainable development goals, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.
It also targeted universities interested in technology, technical and vocational education, directors of departments of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and companies related to information technology.
On this occasion, Secretary-General of the Qatar National Committee for Education, Culture and Science Dr Hamada Hasan al-Sulaiti said the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of information and communication technology and its vital role in accelerating people's needs. Most of the world's governments, institutions, and individuals have used it to fulfill their demands and to implement their educational, health, and economic plans, and hence there is a need to accelerate digital transformation by supporting and strengthening countries for their national plans for the development of information and communication technology, she added.
Dr al-Sulaiti dwelt on three topics related to the seminar. The role that information and communication technology plays in sustainable development, economic, social, and environmental, noting that information technology can accelerate digital transformation in the economy based on knowledge and motivated by new goods and services.
She noted that transformation is a factor for economic growth, competitiveness, and the creation of new job opportunities, which results in improving the quality of existing products, producing new high-quality products, increasing the productivity of the overall production factors and tools of the economy, as well as providing the means and methods for delivering quality goods and services in various fields with high speed and low cost.
Secondly, the importance of providing a safe environment for children and youth on the Internet, which includes protection from cyber entities and developing their capabilities and technical skill that can prepare them to address future cyber threats, as well as to navigate the Internet safely and effectively. Thirdly, Dr al-Sulaiti pointed out that Qatar has long recognised the importance of keeping pace with global development in the field of information and communication technology as one of the engines of economic growth and sustainable development. She pointed out that the country is keen to invest in and access information and communication technology infrastructure with the high level, ability, and skill to be used effectively by individuals, governments, and external sectors.
Director of Unesco Office for the Gulf States and Yemen Dr Anna Paolini said she is pleased to celebrate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) in Qatar and to discuss the most important ways to raise awareness of the importance of new technologies in developing and changing our societies and economy.
Anna Paolini added that digital technologies have occupied an important place in our daily lives, whether through computers, mobile tablets, smartphones, or artificial intelligence development devices and complex algorithms, as its spread everywhere has changed many behaviours and habits of people. She said the meeting enabled to realise the most important ways that contribute to modernising our methods, services and ways of exchanging information and developing our education.
Dr Mayaman al-Taie from Qatar University participating in a presentation on technological development and sustainable development goals, referred to the 17 sustainable development goals, and stressed the importance of co-operation of big countries with small countries and the co-operation of all institutions.
Al-Taie said that the developments in technology, including artificial intelligence, secure records systems, sensors, and biotechnology, can advance human medicine and help organise healthcare information and services.
Sarah al-Husseini from the Ministry of Transport and Communications made a presentation titled, "The Contribution of the Smart Qatar Programme (TASMU) to Artificial Intelligence", and spoke about the programme, which aims to improve the standard of living for citizens and contribute to achieving economic diversification via technology and innovation.
Al-Husseini stressed that artificial intelligence can change the way we manage our lives, how we deal with the economy, and how our societies are organised, and our vision is for artificial intelligence to be highly pervasive in all aspects of life, business, and governance in Qatar.
Director-General of the National Agency for Information Safety from Tunisia Mohamed Nofal participated in a presentation titled, "Cyber Security and Defence: Dimensions and Challenges", and spoke about the type of risks that may threaten the fields of the state and business, as well as the stages of technology development and industrial revolutions, in addition to the Tunisian state's vision and strategy in the digital field, national cyberspace, as well as international co-operation.
Al-Naabi from the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology of the Sultanate of Oman contributed by participating in a presentation titled, "Future Opportunities for Artificial Intelligence Applications in the Sultanate of Oman", in which he pointed out the importance of artificial intelligence.
Al-Naabi said that he is proud to transfer the best experiences that have been applied in the Sultanate of Oman, where distinguished projects have been carried out at the health and agricultural levels, energy sector, the public services sector and said the success of these experiences contributes to creating a stable political environment.
It is worth noting that the WTISD 2021 is an opportunity for ITU members to continue pressing for digital transformation by strengthening national general plans related to the development of ICT and smart policies aimed at encouraging investments, co-operation, and partnership.
The ITU invites everyone to actively participate in the celebration of this year's theme, which is "Accelerating digital transformation in challenging times."