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Bahrain Readies for $320BN Middle East AI Boom with WEF Future Tech Workshop

  • WEF workshop help to build global framework for Artificial Intelligence procurement

  • Events brought together government and entrepreneurs to develop future roadmap

  • Experts from PwC predict a $320 billion AI boom in the Middle East by 2030

World Economic Forum AI Workshop Bahrain

Manama, Wednesday November 6 – The World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network has hosted a workshop in Manama to discuss the future of public Artificial Intelligence (AI) procurement, in partnership with the Bahrain Economic Development board and Bahrain’s Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA).

The workshop follows closely on from the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China. During the major global event, the World Economic Forum announced that Bahrain would pilot new guidelines for the procurement of AI in the public sector, produced by WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The workshop, held between November 5-7, brought together Bahrain government stakeholders, entrepreneurs and experts to identify key opportunities and challenges for the high-tech industry. The sessions also helped to gather evidence and feedback on the guidelines for AI procurement in the public sector and developed a roadmap to advance this goal among the government of Bahrain.

PwC predicted an AI boom in the Middle East, with the sector contributing $320 billion to the region’s economy by 2030 – positioning Bahrain and neighbouring nations as a strategic development “springboard”.

Eddan Katz, Project Lead, AI and Machine Learning of WEF C4IR said: “The readiness of Bahrain’s public sector for the social and economic development anticipated by the dawn of artificial intelligence is impressive. Visionary leadership enabling multidisciplinary coordination across sectors demonstrates how a commitment to responsible innovation can transform how government works and help improve people’s lives.”

Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of the Bahrain EDB said: “Bahrain is a world leader when it comes to the testing, governance and regulation of emerging technologies, making it the ideal partner for this World Economic Forum project. Governments around the world may be hesitant to adopt AI systems when faced with complex procurement processes, but by working together we can create a model that truly powers the public sector into the next generation of technology.”

Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, Chief Executive of the iGA said:Government of Bahrain recognizes the importance of possessing the necessary know-how supported by rules and guidelines for the procurement of AI solutions. The guidelines for public procurement of AI, as determined by the WEF, present us an opportunity to learn and utilize how we should acquire and deploy AI based solutions. They put in place an innovative and reliable method for the procurement process, drawing from the input of experts in the field, and maximizing the benefits of science and technology for our society.”

 

–ENDS–

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Communications and Media Department
Economic Development Board
Phone: +973-17-589966
E-mail: internationalmedia@bahrainedb.com

About Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.

The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com; for information about Bahrain visit www.bahrain.com.

About the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a hub for global, multi-stakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaborations that accelerate the benefits of science and technology.

Drawing on the World Economic Forum’s global convening power, community creation and insight generation, the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco aims to accelerate cross-sector cooperation for Fourth Industrial Revolution governance. The Centre develops, pilots and scales agile and human-centred governance tools that can be adopted by policy-makers, legislators and regulators worldwide to address challenges related to emerging technologies.

The Centre is co-designing and piloting policy frameworks and governance protocols across six areas of focus. To help companies and governments accelerate the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Forum also has projects dedicated to Precision Medicine, Digital Trade and Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth.

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