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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The Saudi Data Forum organized by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority in partnership with the National Transformation Program kicked off on Monday.
It was attended by Dr. Bandar Meshari, assistant minister of interior for technology affairs, and Dr. Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, president of SDAIA.
Dr. Essam Al-Weqait, director of the National Information Center at SDAIA, in his speech highlighted the strategic collaboration between SDAIA and the NTP in support of digital initiatives.
He emphasized that SDAIA’s commitment to harnessing the full potential of data and artificial intelligence goes beyond being a strategic choice; it is a fundamental element in realizing the ambitious goals outlined in Vision 2030.
These goals extend beyond economic diversification and envision a future where digitization is seamlessly integrated into all aspects of life, with data serving as a catalyst for fulfilling aspirations and ambitions.
Al-Weqait explained that SDAIA has diligently worked to establish a comprehensive system for the future, where open data is not merely available but is also utilized responsibly to enhance individuals’ quality of life.
He highlighted SDAIA’s introduction of the Open Data Program, with a focus on improving the governance of open data, publishing high-priority, high-quality datasets that are easily accessible, and driving economic growth while fostering innovation, raising awareness about open data, and forming local and global partnerships.
NTP CEO Thamer Al-Sadoun highlighted that the program’s primary objective is to enhance transparency across government sectors.
This encompasses transparency in government performance, roles and responsibilities, government objectives, and the fight against corruption.
He pointed out that the program has partnered with SDAIA to explore various forms of collaboration, establish productive strategic partnerships, and implement intelligent business solutions that align with Saudi Vision 2030.
This collaboration aims to achieve strategic goals by developing high-quality digital initiatives in the fields of data and artificial intelligence.
Ahmed Al-Suwayan, governor of the Digital Government Authority, emphasized the crucial role of open data in promoting transparency in government operations and institutions.
He highlighted significant progress in this area in the Kingdom, with the National Open Data Platform recording thousands of downloads of data packages and millions of views for data pages from various government entities across sectors.
He further noted that the DGA and SDAIA are collaborating with over 190 entities to make high-value data packages available in various sectors.
This year alone more than 1,200 packages have been updated and added, which represents an approximately sixfold increase compared to the previous year.
Dr. Yaser Altuwaim, assistant director of the National Data Bank at SDAIA, presented the data platforms developed by SDAIA. These platforms aim to enhance data sharing in the Kingdom, improve data quality, accessibility, and contribute to building a data-driven digital economy.
Among these platforms are the National Data Integration Channel, Data Lake, Data Market, Data Analytics Lab, and the National Data Catalog.
Meshal Al-Surhan, CEO of the National Data Quality and Management Program at SDAIA, emphasized the growing global interest in data in recent years due to its developmental importance, impact on national economies, and promotion of transparency.
Basma Al-Subaie, CEO of national data governance at SDAIA, highlighted that in line with Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom is striving for a new era that enhances the utilization of its resources across various fields, including the data sector, which is abundant in both the public and private sectors.
The forum had four discussion sessions featuring 13 experts. These sessions aimed to delve into the latest trends in open data and effective ways to handle it.
The primary goals of this forum are to raise awareness about the impact of open data on various sectors within the Kingdom, build trust among individuals regarding open data, and encourage them to share their personal data with relevant authorities when necessary.
Additionally, the forum seeks to promote the concept of data utilization and sheds light on topics related to artificial intelligence. The forum’s launch includes the introduction of the National Data Index.
The ultimate aim is to position Saudi Arabia as a leader in data-driven and artificial intelligence-driven economies, in harmony with the comprehensive cultural and economic transformation outlined in Saudi Vision 2030.
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