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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: UAE leads the digital revolution

Filed on June 14, 2020

Tech inclusivity is the aim of futuristic governments like the UAE who are ready for more disruptions that come their way

The pandemic has made the digital future more intimate and real to millions across the world. In the past three months, people have relied on their smartphones and computers to make sense of the so-called new normal in a socially distant world. From classrooms to boardroom meetings, shopping to medical appointments, the virtual space has helped us overcome disruptions and allowed us to continue working, learning, and getting business done. This is the future that the UAE has been preparing for 20 years. Now, as the world finds its calling through technology, more tectonic shifts could be underway. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, in his speech to the UN's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation stressed that countries need to "invest in what is to come, not what is already there." This is crucial if they have to prepare for future disruptions and can only be done through new global partnerships and alliances.

No one could have predicted the pace at which the world is shifting to digital technology. Just a few months ago, in 2019, there was rising scepticism about the growing influence of Big Tech. There was a great deal of distrust, and some leaders in the West even suggested breaking up Net monopolies to contain the virality of these technologies. None of the concerns have been resolved, yet most of the digital transformations that we see now are being enabled by tech firms. Governments are tying up with tech companies to develop contact tracing apps, and finding ways to tackle this pandemic. The sector's advances has proven to be beneficial for humanity, and this is why governments should use this crisis to build alliances and a framework for the larger good of humanity. Big Tech can truly make a difference to our lives, if guided by governments and policy makers.  Common rules and regulations are key to protect the interest of users and their privacy. Digital collaborations across the world must be promoted and sustained. Every individual should have access to high-quality internet. Tech inclusivity is the aim of futuristic governments like the UAE who are ready for more disruptions that come their way. Millions in poor countries deserve to be digitally literate and it is a delight to note that the UAE is taking the lead to make these technologies more accessible to the masses. New and transformative digital connections have become a way of life and have driven social progress in a record three months. It's time to take the disruption forward.


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