Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, today chaired the Committee’s 17th meeting, held remotely.
Deputy Premier, HH Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and Deputy Premier, HH Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, and members of the Committee participated in the meeting.
The panel reviewed the latest developments of the National Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The Information and e-Government Authority (iGA) presented a report on the findings of the study it had conducted in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The study determined the required development aspects, including devising a unified digital economy strategy, building a model to define the strategic priorities of digital initiatives, raising awareness on the positive returns of investment in the digital field, enhancing the legislative infrastructure, practical implementation of artificial intelligence and modern technology in solving the problems of various production and development sectors, paving the way for small and medium-sized enterprises to contribute to attracting more investments in this major field, and including the artificial intelligence-related sciences, data analysis and modern technology in school curricula.
The Committee reviewed the various proposals to prepare a National Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence Strategy, as well as the main strategic initiatives to meet the requirements of development in this field.
In this regard, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak stressed the importance of determining the entity responsible for preparing, implementing and managing the National Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence Strategy in order to ensure it effectively contributes to developing various production and development sectors.
The Supreme ICT Committee reviewed a report on the digital transformation of government services following its directives to public entities to expedite preparing their electronic transformation plans in coordination with iGA.
The report revealed that more than 500 e-services and e-payment services have been provided.
This contributed to reducing government costs by 82% and transactions’ time by 76%, as well as to increasing the number of transactions by 26%, the panel was told.
The volume of e-transactions exceeded BD 230 million in 2020, marking an increase of 48% compared to 2019.
The report also showed that 83 e-services have been developed, an increase by 108% compared to previous years.
iGA also developed an integrated government system covering the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry, iGA, the National Medical Taskforce for Combating Coronavirus, the National Communication Centre and the Government Services Call Centre in order to be able to deal with the requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic through the BeAware Application.
The Deputy Premier commended the tremendous efforts exerted by iGA to put in place an integrated system of e-services in order to be able to deal with the exceptional requirements imposed by the pandemic.
The Supreme ICT Committee was also informed about the iGA’s preparations to launch the 11th edition of the e-Government Excellence Award which is a biennial award launched under the patronage of HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak to shed light on pioneering technological innovations and initiatives of the public and public sectors, as well as for individuals.