CTED and UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade Host Conference on the Role of Technology in Economic Development

UAE Minister for Foreign Trade H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi Delivers Keynote Address

Press Release

The Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, will host the second annual CTED conference on February 12–13, 2012. The two-day conference “Enhancing Economic Development through Technology: Focus on Africa and other Developing Regions” will explore how innovative technological solutions can play a vital role in economic and social progress in developing regions. The conference is open to the public and will be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

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.

The event will feature prominent speakers, including H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, and H.E. Jerry Rawlings, Former President of Ghana and current African Union High Representative for Somalia. Participants will also include a number of international central bank governors, and members of local institutions, such as UAE Exchange, The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Masdar.

Researchers and experts from information technology and economic development sectors will present solutions on how cutting–edge technology can be applied to overcome challenges in the fields of mobile money, food security, energy, healthcare and education.

“The UAE has significant geographical, historical, cultural and economic ties with many countries in the developing world,” H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi said. “We have a keen interest in investigating ways to support the economic and social development of our neighbors.”

“We are proud to see that NYUAD, an organization based in the UAE, is playing a leading role within the international academic community in advancing our knowledge and understanding of how customized technological applications can be used to tackle a range of challenges that are unique to developing economies and communities,” she added.

H.E. Jerry Rawlings highlighted that technology has played an increasing role in international humanitarian relief efforts to deliver more efficient solutions in delivering aid.

“The current humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa continues to devastate our local communities and economies. As we pursue economic development, we must continue to provide support to those in need.”

“We have seen impressive examples of humanitarian workers using accessible technological solutions to organize their efforts and connect with members of the community.”

Rawlings will present a special evening lecture on “Somalia, the Horn of Africa and Food Security” on February 12 at 6:30pm.

Yaw Nyarko, Director of CTED at NYUAD, said: “In just two years, CTED has already initiated some landmark projects on the ground in developing countries. In particular, we have experimented with innovative mobile phone applications in addition to using new technologies, such as solar energy, to provide electricity to rural areas. This annual conference creates a forum for us to share and learn from others who share similar goals to promote development through the use of technology.”

For details about “Somalia, the Horn of Africa and Food Security” — the companion lecture to this event — as well as additional information about the conference, please visit the NYUAD event archives.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.