DUBAI – The office of the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications signed with Cisco, global networking, collaboration and cybersecurity leader, a collaboration framework expanding Cisco's Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme in the UAE.
The MoU aims to enhance work models between government entities and private companies (PPT) by designing and launching several key initiatives boosting the UAE's digital transformation vision and accelerating the development of the nation's digital economy.
The MoU signing was attended by Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications; and Reem Asaad, Vice President, Middle East and Africa at Cisco. The MoU was signed by Saqr bin Ghalib, Executive Director at the Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Office, and Abdelilah Nejjari, Managing Director for the Gulf region at Cisco.
Commenting on the collaboration, Al Olama highlighted the UAE government's keenness on enhancing and promoting PPTs with leading companies around the world, saying, "Driving collaborations with the private sector is one of the key pillars to execute the UAE's Strategy's in developing the digital sector, which aims to double the contribution of the digital economy to the country's non-oil GDP by 2031 and create a proactive leading future."
He said, "To enhance the UAE's position as a hub for digital economy in the region and globally, we must focus on key areas. These pillars cover harnessing the power of emerging technologies across key industries, fostering digital skills and talents, and embracing innovative approaches in work models in alignment with the prioritisation of wellbeing in the UAE. Our objective is to boost the UAE's digital journey, which will be driven in such a way that privacy and security come first."
Cisco's CDA programme is aligned with the national agenda of the UAE to transform the country's economic model towards sustainable growth by transitioning towards a digital economy. It aims at supporting digitisation efforts across various key industry sectors, fostering digital skills, and developing the innovation ecosystem in the country to achieve the UAE centennial 2071 vision of digital transformation.
Asaad, in turn, stated, "The UAE's visionary leadership is empowering the country to become one of the most prosperous nations by pioneering in the new digital era. With Cisco's Country Digital Acceleration programme, I am proud that Cisco has the opportunity to support the UAE's national agenda by unlocking the value of digitisation. Today's announcement is another key milestone in our journey with the UAE's government that aims to driving the entire innovation ecosystem to capture the maximum value from digitisation."
The MoU focuses on digital acceleration for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) through cutting-edge technologies that improve competitiveness and efficiency; paving the way for new work environments across key industries such as healthcare, education, and public services, while leveraging the power of hybrid working for improved productivity and experience; and developing skills and providing national training programmes to meet future challenges for a digitally empowered workforce. For that, Cisco will leverage its proven Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad) programme.
Also, it aims to advance the national digital infrastructure to support foundational services needed for the UAE to accelerate its digital transformation, such as smart cities and cybersecurity roadmaps; Evolved Field Operations by harnessing industry 4.0 technologies to help transform critical national infrastructure by advancing capabilities around network automation, monitoring, control, safety and security; and enhance digital security in the UAE through collaborating with stakeholders at the federal level and across critical national infrastructure.
Cisco's CDA programme was launched in the UAE in 2018 to accelerate digital transformation, stimulate innovation, and drive digital skills development. Since its inception, more than 15 projects were executed under the program. Key initiatives included the creation of an advanced tele-consultation services platform for a local healthcare provider, an AI-enabled smart classroom project with a leading university, and the first fully functioning physical and digital concept store in the region.
Cisco's CDA programme is a strategic partnership with governments worldwide to accelerate their national digitalisation agendas and create new value for the country, its businesses, and citizens.