Why people must remain at the heart of a more connected UAE
Those in the ICT community have an important responsibility to invest in preparing the next generation of leaders for an intelligent world.
Dubai - Single most influential factor in meeting national transformation goals is empowerment of talented people
In today's world, digital transformation is a leading choice for growth, for companies and countries alike. The world around us is becoming truly digital, connected by technology more than ever before, and the potential of the connected society has been the focus of many UAE government and public-private initiatives in recent years. Huawei is keen to play a role in helping the UAE to achieve its digital transformation goals, thereby contributing to the realisation of a more diversified economy.
This approach is inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was a true visionary leader. He always wanted the UAE's youth to be highly-learned, to seek employment and to benefit the society. Sheikh Zayed once said that knowledge is the only weapon to guarantee a future, and that the real wealth of a nation "is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power we value. This is what has convinced us to direct all our resources to build the individual, and to use the wealth which God has provided us in the service of the nation".
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, continues to call on UAE youth to help create the country's present and future. He continuously expresses his confidence in the abilities of the nation's youth to carry the country to continued prosperity. He said: "We are confident in the role of the UAE's ambitious youth, and we believe in their abilities to create the country's present and future, we always aim to qualify, motivate and empower them to take the nation's flag and carry it to our supreme glory."
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has recognised that most of this great nation is made up of youth, and that our future is ultimately in their hands.
The UAE's leadership has set the country on a strong course towards a sustainable future. This is outlined in ambitions such as UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071 project. These progressive plans aim to create, among other things, a knowledge-based and highly productive society in which innovation, research and entrepreneurship are key pillars. Economic diversification, industrial strength, happiness and digitalisation all feature prominently as components of these strategies for the UAE's future.
Huawei believes that the single most influential factor in meeting national transformation goals is the empowerment of talented people, not just the development of technology to solve the issues a society may wish to overcome.
Those of us in the ICT community have an important responsibility to invest in preparing the next generation of leaders for an intelligent world and the need has never been greater.
Companies should elevate their CSR initiatives and programmes to align with national plans and strategic visions, with the focus on nurturing local talents as its top priority. This will be essential in a world that is enabled by technology, as an increasingly connected global society can create a deep rift between members who are digitally-savvy and those who are not. We believe in pursuing digital enablement in order to bridge the digital divide, with the intention of narrowing it. To achieve this, though, we need to take action now.
In the next 10 years, we must harness the power of fast connections, smart devices and intelligent applications to close the divide, rather than to increase it. To that end, we have taken a mandate of building the ICT talent ecosystem in countries we operate in and actively support a healthy global ICT talent ecosystem. We work closely with governments, enterprises, organisations, educational institutions and local communities around the world to enhance the digital skills of individuals, SMEs and society as a whole. This is key to the balanced development of global digital economy and will enable countries to better compete in the digital economy.
We continue to enhance the collaboration with worldwide education platforms and organisations based on joint efforts with higher education institutions, training agencies, industry associations, customers and partners.
Since 2008, Huawei has provided hands-on experience for young talents with the aim of addressing the digital skills gap and building ICT capabilities in the UAE by encouraging participants to pursue new ideas that contribute to a more open, collaborative and sustainable ecosystem that bridges digital divides. Successful projects that have resulted from this investment in local talent include initiatives such as a smart cane for the blind that can alert the user to surrounding obstacles, and a smart system for vehicles which alerts drivers to safe driving distances and tracks violators.
Huawei recognises that investing in young talent can have an immense positive impact on the local community; it strengthens the local technology ecosystem and prepares the next generation of leaders for a more intelligent, connected world, enabling sustainable digital transformation that benefits everyone in the UAE's society.
The writer is CEO of Huawei UAE. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.