Arab World to have more than 197 million Internet users by 2017
Arab Knowledge Economy Report by Orient Planet, Middle East representative of Eurocom Worldwide, and Madar Research & Development
* Arab region’s Internet penetration rate to surge from 32 per cent in 2012 to 51 per cent in 2017, according to Madar-Orient Planet report
* Current male literacy rate is 85 per cent, while female literacy is only 68 per cent
* Four Saudi universities & one from Egypt appears in Shanghai Ranking of World Universities
* Bahrain tops Arab ICT-use Index 2013 with score of 3.08
* UAE posts 65.68 in 2013-2014 Arab e-Performance Index
The number of Internet users in the Arab World is expected to reach 197 million by 2017, a penetration of over 51 per cent from 32 per cent in 2012, according to the recently released first Arab Knowledge Economy Report 2014. The Report is a joint study conducted by Orient Planet, the Middle East representative of Eurocom Worldwide, and Madar Research & Development. The study provides an in-depth look at the components and characteristics of the Arab Knowledge Economy and its contribution towards the overall development of the region’s economy.
Strengths and weaknesses of the region’s economy
The Arab Knowledge Economy Report 2014 focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the region’s economy along with the opportunities and risks associated with it. The statistics and other valuable information featured in the report could act as an essential guide for government planners, economists as well as local, regional and global business communities in the move to acquire, create, disseminate and use knowledge more effectively for greater economic and social development.
Abdul Kader Al Kamli, CEO, Madar Research & Development
Abdul Kader Al Kamli, CEO, Madar Research & Development, said: “Some of today’s developing countries will be tomorrow’s vibrant economies in the global market, which makes investment in innovation and education critical for transformation to a knowledge-based economy. The shift is highly significant in the Arab World, as it will enable a landscape of technological innovation, promote competitiveness, and empower local population with professional skills. Having realized the importance of knowledge-based economy in the socio-economic growth of a country, the GCC countries have launched their e-Governance programs, while Dubai has entered into the next phase with the recent launch of Dubai Smart Governance. We are confident that the first Arab Knowledge Economy Report will be a great reference manual for Arab organizations, as they strategically plan their agenda for smooth transition based on knowledge and innovation. The report will also be useful for multinational corporations and businesses operating in the region along with potential investors in achieving outstanding financial growth.”
Nidal Abou Zaki, Managing Director, Orient Planet
Nidal Abou Zaki, Managing Director, Orient Planet, said: “The 2014 Arab Knowledge Economy Report has been developed with an intention to provide critical and up-to-date information about the region in order to assess its position in terms of forming knowledge economies, which is decisive in formulating the framework to move forward. Our report is especially crucial to the assessment and development of the four major pillars of a knowledge economy; namely, Education and Training, Information Infrastructure, Economic Incentive and Institutional Regime, and Innovation Systems. Most of the Arab countries have made significant progress in establishing a knowledge-based economy and society. With its wealth in natural and financial resources, huge investments in technology infrastructure and visionary leadership, the region is rapidly catching up with progressive countries in terms of digital innovations.”
Dubai first city in the region to establish knowledge clusters
The report states that the Arab countries are heading towards knowledge economy by improving their education sector through the adoption of new technologies, investment in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, building firm research and development programs, and improvement in the overall business environment. The public-private partnership (PPP) is required to ensure smooth progress in knowledge related indicators and build an entrepreneurial culture that supports innovation. The UAE leads the Middle East with a global ranking of 38 in overall innovation performance while Dubai is the first city in the region to establish first knowledge clusters, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Knowledge Village. The UAE’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy is currently a key priority for the country with several innovations seen across prime economic sectors such as oil & gas, construction, healthcare and hospitality.
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About Orient Planet
Orient Planet PR & Marketing Communications is one of the Middle East’s most rapidly growing public relations, marketing and communications consultancies. Orient Planet is the Middle East representative of Eurocom Worldwide, the leading global network of public relations consultancies offering services to technology concerns and high-tech businesses. Orient Planet’s key services include media relations, publicity, marketing communications, crisis management, event management, brand marketing, community relations, corporate social responsibility programs, media training, and media monitoring. Currently, it has a comprehensive network of offices, affiliates and partners across the Gulf, Levant and North Africa regions. For more information, visit www.orientplanet.com
About Eurocom Worldwide
Eurocom Worldwide is a global alliance of independent, privately owned Public Relations agencies. Together, we form a global business-to-business communications solution provider with a focus on technology in its broadest sense. Eurocom Worldwide has 29 member agencies comprising over 900 communications specialists and consultants in 61 national capitals and centres of commerce around the globe. For more information, visit www.eurocompr.com