Doha: Minister of Transport and Communications (MoTC) announced the adoption of Qatar's National Artificial Intelligence Strategy at the Qatar Information Technology and Communication Conference and Exhibition (QITCOM 2019) yesterday at Qatar National Convention Center.
Speaking at the inauguration, Minister of Transport and Communications (MoTC) H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti announced the adoption of Qatar’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, in cooperation with Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), with the participation of a number of senior experts from international universities.
“This strategy is the first of its kind to be developed in collaboration between the government and a research institute. It aims to adopt the artificial intelligence and harness it to secure the economic and strategic future of Qatar as is envisaged by Qatar National Vision 2030,” the minister said.
He stressed that Qatar was at the forefront of the countries that are aware of the importance and advantages of smart cities, where it has already begun to strengthen its infrastructure and enhance the quality of the Internet to become the first country in the world to launch 5G services. Ministries and government agencies have embarked on the adoption of the latest technologies and work systems that will improve the quality of services provided to the public and enhance the lifestyle of individuals in the Qatari community. Qatar seeks to strengthen its regional and international cooperation to provide a safe and strong cyber environment.
His Excellency added that Doha is honoured to host the Munich Security Conference in conjunction with QITCOM 2019 to discuss regional and global security issues and raise awareness of cybersecurity issues and their implications and impacts.
Qatar’s hosting of such events reflects the leadership’s keenness to support the country’s digital transformation process, and the creation of a digital society and enhance the ability of its members to participate in building a knowledge-based economy, in line with the great digital boom witnessed in the world, and contribution to advancing economic development, His Excellency said.
His Excellency pointed out that in terms of the global economy, smart cities and their technologies have become a major role in economic growth, where it is estimated that the use of 5G technologies will save about $160bn globally, by rationalising energy consumption, developing security services, developing transportation and sustainability. He added that it is estimated that the economic value of the Internet of Things will reach approximately $11 trillion per year by 2025.
His Excellency explained that Qatar’s role is not only to promote the use of modern city technologies, but also to support scientific research and innovation in the digital industry, and support entrepreneurs and owners of small, medium and small enterprises in the digital field, and provide the necessary support through several institutions and initiatives, including business incubator in the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
His Excellency pointed out that as a continuation of these efforts and initiatives and within the framework of the Government of Qatar to accelerate the achievement of all the pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 and achieve the goals of comprehensive sustainable development, the Ministry of Transport and Communications launched Qatar Smart Program (TASMU), which will make huge investments in the development of digital infrastructure.
His Excellency pointed out that the development of the concept of smart cities and their technologies has evolved in the form and size of the challenges facing the application of this concept, the most important of which are security challenges especially with the growing phenomenon of cybercrime and piracy at the global level and in the Middle East in particular, adding that the State of Qatar was a victim of cyber piracy, which has been a cover for a regional crisis that has increased tension in the region.
His Excellency stated that Qatar has put these challenges in line with its priorities, and in 2014 launched the National Cybersecurity Strategy to protect the national vital information infrastructure, promote a culture of cybersecurity and develop national capabilities and specialized cadres.
His Excellency added that Qatar has long been committed to enhancing information security and encouraging international cooperation to combat cybercrime whereas, H H the Amir had called for an international conference to discuss ways to organise this issue in international law. His Highness stressed the readiness of Qatar to host this conference under the auspices of the United Nations.
Wolfgang Ischinger, Munich Security Conference Chairman, said: “I am honoured to attend the opening of QITCOM 2019 to discuss the digitization challenge from the perspective of the MSC. We are pleased to be here today in one of the leading events in the Middle East and to organise a roundtable on cyber security in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications under the headline “securing digitization in the Middle East”.”
QITCOM 2019 is different from previous editions in that it is a world-level edition featuring 104 speakers from around 30 countries, more than 400 local and international exhibitors, around 300 innovators and entrepreneurs, and 29 local and international sponsors. More than 60 countries from the region and beyond are participating in the various QITCOM activities.