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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has climbed 40 places in the Digital Infrastructure Index 2020 to rank 27, putting it at the eighth spot in the G20.
It has moved up 15 places in the Human Capital Index to rank 35 globally, putting it in 10th place in the G20, and also risen nine places in the E-Government Development Index to achieve the highest classification for the index, which includes 139 countries.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support to the ministry in expediting the digital transformation of the country. Al-Swaha attributed these accomplishments to the National Transformation Program, which has helped the Kingdom speed up its digitization.
Prof. Dr. Mohammed Alhizan, a Shoura Council member, said: “Citizens and residents have experienced firsthand the improvement of public services, which have been digitized for ease of access.”
Dr. Rafiq Jamal Aldeen, a professor at King Saud University, said that information technology and communications were instrumental to digital transformation.
“Saudi Arabia is expected to have its own active information technology industry that will enhance the efficiency of e-government services, speed up the digital transformation of the private sector. Saudi Arabia has designed a number of strategies to develop the country’s digital economy and digital society, and employed information technology and communications with a view to enhancing public services,” he said.
“The public sector has digitized many of the services and made them available online and also enhanced e-governance.”
Artificial Intelligence was an evolving technology that had seen rapid developments and could offer many benefits in terms of the digital transformation efforts, he added.
Jamal Aldeen said that digital transformation had been implemented across different sectors. For example, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority had introduced touch-free and remote payments services to increase the number of noncash transactions. This technology would also allow consumers to make easier and faster electronic purchases, he said, noting that Saudi Arabia would be a global pioneer in the technology and innovation sector in the future.
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