The Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) opened a two–day conference today titled: “Enhancing Economic Development through Technology: Focus on Africa and other Developing Regions.”
The opening session included UAE Minister of Foreign Trade H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, who gave the keynote address; former President of the Republic of Ghana and current African Union High Representative for Somalia H.E. Jerry Rawlings; NYUAD Vice Chancellor Dr. Al Bloom; CEO and Managing Director of New Medical Center Group Dr. B.R. Shetty; and CTED Director Dr. Yaw Nyarko.
H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi highlighted the role of technology in stimulating innovation and developing knowledge-based economies.
“As we live in an information age, information technology has become an energizing force for social and economic interaction,” she said.
“Any new technology requires a corresponding new set of political and social capabilities and support functions to ensure its success. This is why we have to get the full spectrum of government, industry, and society to act as movers for technology adoption and optimization.”
She also addressed the strong economic ties between the UAE and African nations, noting that in the last ten years, non–oil trade has multiplied by 677 percent. The growth of the technology sector would further support trade and collaboration between the UAE and Africa, she said.
“Technology is a field my government is making big investments in, and which can be an area of future trade.”
“The broadening adoption of mobile telephony and other ICT channels across sub–Saharan Africa has triggered a massive surge in living standards. Given these developments, it is high time that the development potential of technology be thoroughly examined, discussed, promoted, and championed in Africa and in other developing areas of the world.”
Yaw Nyarko, director of CTED at NYUAD, said the conference was convened with the aim to bring together relevant stakeholders to share and coordinate activities with regard to advancing the use of technology in developing regions.
“Our aim is to get academia, the private sector, and government talking to each other — making sure that the fruits of research, the recommendations that are made, and the activities of the private sector are all in sync,” he said.
Al Bloom, vice chancellor of NYUAD, said: “CTED has both increased the recognition of NYUAD as a leading research university, and has contributed to the UAE’s position as a leading center of intellectual and technological innovation.”
CTED is a comprehensive research center, housed at NYUAD, devoted to the study and application of innovative and cutting–edge technologies that can significantly improve economic growth in developing countries around the world.