Your Excellencies ....Ladies and Gentlemen ....
Honourable Audience ....
At the outset of this unique event, I am pleased to welcome you all in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. I would also like to acknowledge in the first place the efforts of all the organizers, sponsors, partners, supporters of this important event. The series of knowledge management conferences in the Middle East have become an ideal platform to regularly exchange ideas and opinions relating to the theme of knowledge. In addition, its distinctiveness arises from creating the opportunity for a genuine liaison between the public and private sectors. No doubt, the uniqueness of the Conference on Knowledge Management in the Middle East with an elite of speakers and distinguished participants has made the conference one of the most prominent events in the field of knowledge management.
A close scrutiny of the National Action Program launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the State, - may God protect him – will clearly reveal the magnitude of hopes and aspirations UAE headed on knowledge as a mainstay for the shift towards a knowledge-based economy: an economy which is diverse, flexible, steered by competent and skilled nationals, and driven by best practices to ensure long-term prosperity of the state. The UAE has made significant strides in the field of knowledge under the guidance of our judicious leadership, which entitled UAE to embark on one of the most successful experiences.On the other hand, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council adopted a vision aimed to bring about a turnaround in the structure of the Emirate's economy, directed towards a more knowledge-based economy. This vision reveals Abu Dhabi Government conviction that knowledge is a strategic option in terms of stimulating the potentials of economic diversification and sustainable development.
Honourable Audience ....
Based on the revolving nature of knowledge, and in light of the special status accorded to it by Abu Dhabi Government, we had to develop and continuously modernize our tools and capabilities so that we can obtain the best management styles, according to international best practices, deploying the Emirate of knowledge gains as well as supporting the pace of transition towards the hoped-for knowledge economy. In this regard, it should be noted that the current knowledge management style in Abu Dhabi is not only restricted to the acquisition of new knowledge and utilizing it to serve the economic and social objectives; but it also goes beyond that to include strengthening the Emirate’s capacity to generate and localize knowledge in order to develop a comprehensive knowledge framework that would enable us to take ownership of knowledge and adapt it to confront the challenges of sustainable development.The initiatives and knowledge management programs in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi were based on accurate diagnosis and a thorough reading of potential gaps in the local knowledge landscape, and were also characterized by integrating the three poles of knowledge society: technology, economy and society; hence, their gains and benefits came proportionate with the aspirations of the decision maker, meeting the needs of citizens and residents, and responsive to the requirements of development goals.
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi's content knowledge management has witnessed many milestones recently in terms of stimulating the process of transition towards the knowledge economy. The establishment of Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center - particularly to lead the e-government strategy designed to make Abu Dhabi a leader in government modernization regionally and internationally - reflects the Emirate's government conviction of the impact efficient knowledge management can effect on corporate excellence.
On the other hand, Abu Dhabi's vision for science, technology and innovation – aiming to build a sustainable and diversified knowledge economy in line with the modern world - was announced concurrently with the Government's establishment of the Technology Development Committee, which is undertaking an extensive coordination process bringing together government entities, private sector organizations and a number of educational and academic institutions; hence, incorporating the vision of the Emirate in the fields of science, technology and innovation. Last year witnessed the most prominent achievement of this Committee - Abu Dhabi Science Festival, unprecedented across the state to raise the human capital level by encouraging school students to become familiar with the spheres of new knowledge to refine their scientific and practical skills in the future.
In the same vein, in light of the pivotal role assigned to the Department of Economic Development (DED) within the road map drawn by our economic vision for Abu Dhabi 2030, the Department's plans and programs came more responsive to the next phase requirements, enhancing the economic transformation pace towards the desired knowledge economy. This enterprise began when the Department started developing Abu Dhabi's economic knowledge initiative as a first step within efforts to improve the human capital meeting the needs of the knowledge economy, where the Department is working on the publicizing and disseminating knowledge among the leading parties in the economic sector.
Also the Department is currently working on developing a joint work program in cooperation with its associated partners through a series of interactive workshops, in order to shed light on the objectives of the knowledge-based economy pivots; and then determine the nature of the respective roles of each party and how to achieve the maximum possible use of their contributions. It is worth noting here the Department's efforts in collaboration with INSEAD International Business School in order to build and develop the second phase of Abu Dhabi Innovation Index , in order to monitor and follow up the progress being made in the Emirate towards becoming a knowledge-based economy, as well as identifying the points of potential gaps in the process of economic transformation.
Ladies and gentlemen.....
The latest international statistics reports have shown the concerted efforts made by all federal and local entities, whether government or private in boosting UAE's status as one of the promising knowledge economies. In the International classification, UAE ranked 49 in 2010, rose to 28 in 2012, according to United Nations' report on E-Government. The UAE's rising to the 7th rank according to the e-government services index for the year 2012, compared to the 99th rank according to the same index in 2010 is a remarkable achievement which is worth examining and considering. The e-services Index assesses the extent of e-services, the development of electronic services in terms of abundance, quality, variety of channels, and the extent of public use of these services.
According to the e-participation index, which is concerned with the extent of government use of the Internet in order to enhance transparency and communication with the public and to involve them in the process of policy making and services development, the United Nations report showed UAE's rising to the 6th rank in 2012, compared to the 86th rank according to the same index in 2010, These achievements has had a noticeable impact on improving the state ranking according to the General Index of the e-readiness, which is a remarkable achievement during a short period of time, added to the record achievements of the state in the context of the shift towards a knowledge economy.
On the other hand, the World Bank Index on the knowledge economy for 2012 revealed that the United Arab Emirates came in the lead of the Arab and Gulf countries list reviewed by the index, where the classification of the state rose to the global rank of 42 in 2012 compared to 45 in 2011.
Honorable AudienceLadies and Gentlemen ....
While we are witnessing this start of the Middle East 2012 - knowledge management conference, our nested hopes rest on the conference and its discussions in order to reach conclusions and recommendations that are significant to fulfill the aspirations of the decision-makers, meet the needs of the peoples in this region, and provide practical and reasonable solutions conforming to the nature of challenges encountered in the Arab knowledge landscape .
In conclusion, we cannot but express our utmost pride in hosting this conference in Abu Dhabi Emirate for the third successive year,
My sincere wishes for you all to have rich discussions and excellent participations.May peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.