The findings of the Global Knowledge Index 2019, unveiled at the sixth Knowledge Summit in Dubai, offer a roadmap for governments to fast-track their countries to strong, information-driven knowledge-based economies, said experts.
A panel discussion at the Summit discussed the findings of GKI2019, a joint initiative between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF).
MBRF’s CEO H.E. Jamal bin Huwaireb said the Foundation’s partnership with UNDP is ten years old and has been extended for another ten. GKI2019’s findings, which follows several reports prepared by the two entities, are useful for governments to boost their economies. “It provides a roadmap to identify areas of concern and scale up processes to enhance economic competitiveness and, in turn, the happiness of the people.”
He said GKI2019 provides the ‘right diagnosis’ for countries, adding that the UAE has set an example in leveraging knowledge-economy data to take positive action and enhance its global ranking. “We urge nations to update their data, identify any shortcomings, and address them in a timely manner,” he noted.
Khaled Abdel Shafi, UNDP Director of Regional Bureau for Arab States, said that GKI2019 plays a central role in driving global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – particularly, SDG 17, which aims to strengthen means of implementation and revitalise global partnerships for sustainable development. “The SDGs cannot be achieved without support from knowledgeable communities. One challenge that the region, as well as developing countries, faced is lack of data; GKI presents insights to be analysed, enabling decision-makers to take appropriate action,” he added.
Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor of The Knowledge Project, said GKI2019 relies on evidence-backed research, with data provided by governments adding to its credibility. He said the research team uses modern algorithms to ensure accurate analysis, calling on youth to use technology to upskill themselves. “Young people must be made part of the solution or they will become part of the problem; it is important to engage them meaningfully to drive sustainable development,” he said.
The discussion also covered the role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in knowledge-based economies, with H.E. bin Huwaireb explaining the success of MBRF’s ‘Knowledge4All’ app that uses AI and has been downloaded over 600,000 times, underpinning its popularity among youth as a learning tool.