The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has concluded its successful participation as a Platinum Sponsor and Strategic Partner at the 2016 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum held recently in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization won the prestigious ‘WSIS Prizes 2016’ for its ‘ICT Development in Arab Region Project’ under the ‘Action Line C11 International & Regional Cooperation Category’ amid stiff competition. The TRA was recognized for its valuable contributions through leading initiatives such as the ‘TRA-ITU ICT Discovery Museum,’ ‘UAEPedia,’ ‘M-Government TV Program,’ and ‘ICT Development in Arab Region.’
On the sideline of the WSIS Forum 2016, the TRA hosted two separate Thematic and Country Workshops. The UAE Thematic Workshop on ‘UAE Government – Student Self-Immune Awareness Program & Addressing The Rising Trend of Cyber Blackmail’ was moderated by H.E. Colonel Dr. Ibrahim Al Dabal, General Coordinator of the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program; Eng. Ghaith Almazaina, Manager for Business Affairs at TRA’s Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT); and Mr. Suleman Bakhsh, TRA’s Manager for Internet Governance. The sessions discussed the outstanding achievements of ‘AQDAR’ – the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program and the successful ‘Cyber Blackmail Campaign’ conducted by aeCERT.
H.E. Majed Sultan Al Mesmar, Deputy Director General of TRA, said: “Our participation in WSIS Forum 2016 successfully contributed in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and forms part of national efforts to build a dynamic information society. It offered an ideal opportunity to share the UAE’s successful experiences with the global information society and highlight its leading initiatives aligned with the WSIS Action Lines.”
“Our successful participation comes as the result of our systematic work and ambitious vision to position the UAE as a leading country in global ICT and digital content. We are motivated to continue to strengthen our capabilities in the field of ICT and achieve the UAE’s goal of becoming one of the world’s best countries,” H.E. Al Mesmar added.
H.E. Colonel Dr. Ibrahim Al Dabal, General Coordinator of the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program (AQDAR), stated that AQDAR is a 360-degree initiative for students which works to unify the awareness messages directed at students through various channels. It aims to build an ethical and valuable system based on AQDAR advocacies such as self-skills, national consciousness, and health, safety and crime prevention. The lectures provided by AQDAR focused on addressing the current threats associated with the internet and other advanced technologies, and defended also the cybercrime types and prevention methods besides introducing the best practices to deal with those negatives inside the school to students and teachers. He further explained that the AQDAR program has partnered with other related organizations to enable all students and other concerned entities to securely access the internet and social media with full assurance of personal and social safety.
Since the beginning of the academic, the AQDAR program has trained more than 70,000 teachers, students and guardians through more than 800 lectures and awareness workshops organized nationwide in schools, universities and colleges along with digital content and interactive magazines.
H.E Colonel Ebrahim confirmed that the success of a project in any emirate is a win for all and a step towards achieving the national vision of leading various local and global sectors.
H.E. Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Assistant Director General for Government Services at the Prime Minister’s Office, said: “The WSIS Forum is an important platform to showcase the UAE’s smart government experience to the world. It is also a venue where the country has met representatives as well as business leaders from the private sectors of nearly 140 countries.”
“The smart government initiative launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2013 was a turning point for the UAE Government which has since achieved a qualitative leap in the implementation of smart services,” H.E. Buhumaid stated.
“Our workshop during the WSIS Forum detailed the UAE Government’s role towards future observation along with the most critical steps towards the transformation to a smart government. It also highlighted the most important projects and initiatives undertaken to achieve the objectives of UAE Vision 2021 to position the UAE among the world’s best countries,” she added.
The most important files have introduced also, the UAE has created new ministries, including for Happiness, Future and Tolerance, which does not exist anywhere in the world in line with its preparation for the next level. Government initiatives were also displayed which aim to achieve various visions of the UAE, such as the world government summit and its role in future observation aside from the Museum of the Future and best m-Government Award to show best smart government services. The awards aim to promote advanced technology to serve the human good, and Drones for Good Award, UAE AI and Robotics Award for Good, and UAE efforts to launch MISSION TO MARS – HOPE.
The attendees commended the UAE’s distinctive experiences and efforts to achieve its vision to be one of the world’s best countries by 2021 and spread happiness and positivity. Furthermore, the MISSION TO MARS – HOPE project aims to explore Mars, complementing the Arab World’s active contribution in enriching civilization and human knowledge. The project is also a testimony that hope, trust and ambitions can prevail in spite of the current situation of the Arab World.
H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government, said: “We are proud of the success achieved by the UAE delegation during their recent participation at WSIS 2016, wherein we were able to highlight our country’s continuing efforts in order to achieve leadership within the smart transformation segment. We were able to review best global practices, while also displaying our unique experiences, strategies, initiatives and standards in support of smart transformation. We also highlighted our successful achievements such as ‘Smart Dubai Platform’ and the ‘DubaiNow Smart App,’ which was designed according to stakeholders needs through the Customer Experience (CX) Lab; ‘MyID,’ which allows customers unified access to all eServices provided by government agencies and the happiness index, which measures our smart city pulse and the happiness and satisfaction levels of all UAE residents.”
“The WSIS workshop was organized under the slogan, ‘Future Government--Build best governments and smart cities in the world, extraordinary transformation touches every one’s life,’ received strong response from the attendees to review our country’s achievements in smart transformation and use it as a model to follow. The UAE team, which was led by H.E. Hessa Essa Buhumaid and H.E. Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, succeeded in presenting the government’s continuing efforts in leading the smart transformation, while also throwing the spotlight on Dubai as a global model for its quality achievements,” H.E. added.
Dr. H.E Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General at Smart Dubai Office concluded: “Smart Dubai is leading an unprecedented transformation of the whole emirate, driving innovative changes in daily life services, infrastructure and processes to improve the city’s experiences for everyone. Ours is the largest smart city project underway in the world today. We are honored to join the UAE Delegation to WSIS Forum 2016 to share experiences from our journey so far and to learn from the expertise of our global peers. Working together and learning from each other, we will accelerate our own transformation and contribute in our mission to make Dubai the global benchmark in smart city transformation for the emerging world.”
WSIS Forum 2016 was organized under the supervision of the International Telecommunication Union and is the latest edition of the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. The annual forum discusses the role of ICT as a vital means to implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It features interactive activities that offer opportunities for participants to network, interact and strengthen partnerships to implement creative projects related to ICT and digital content, offering an active mechanism to ensure close cooperation, facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and enrich knowledge to support development goals.