NNA - The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri participated today in the Arabnet conference that was held in Beirut’s Seaside arena. On this occasion, he spoke about the efforts exerted by the government to reach a digital government that meets the requirements of the era. He also stressed the importance of benefiting from the skills of the youth.
He said: "It is my pleasure to be with you today to participate in the tenth successful edition of Arabnet, one of the biggest digital gatherings in the MENA region. I am here because I would like to show my support to an eco-system that is fast growing in Lebanon. It is an ecosystem made up of bright, creative hardworking professionals who have succeeded despite challenging times.
It is a priority for myself and for my government to do all that is in our power to support and further enable the digital economy ecosystem.
The digital economy holds tremendous potential for the Lebanese economy. It is a key pillar for us developing our productive sectors, increasing the size and quality of our economy and creating much needed jobs for our youth.
It also the key to facilitating and accelerating our growth as individuals as well as for our nation as a whole. As I said previously, a digitized nation is simply more intelligent. We have hence been implementing a series of growth oriented measures that aim to improve the business environment and foster innovation in Lebanon."
He added: "I believe that we have a competitive edge in this domain and this is proven by the countless success stories from Lebanese abroad. We want this success to become homegrown. We want to see our youth stay, build and export rather than immigrate. Today we have a golden opportunity to move forward and develop our digital economy to the standards that the Lebanese deserve. Creativity is homegrown and a competitive advantage Lebanese clearly hold. But it is not enough. It must come hand in hand with an enabling environment, one that the government has a key role in providing.
A ministerial committee was recently formed to oversee this digital transformation. We recently held a workshop with the World Bank and Arabnet, which elaborated a roadmap that needs to be approved by the ministerial committee.
This roadmap consists of: the digital infrastructure, the digital government, the digital platform and the digital entrepreneur.
Digital Lebanon has not partake to one ministry. It rather requires all its main stakeholders to be on board and in sync.
Hence the importance of clear governance structure to institutionalize all our work to guarantee the acceptance of all private and public sectors.
Minister Raya El-Hassan, Minister Chidiac, Minister Afiouni and Minister Choucair formed a core team working closely and in coordination. They are taking the necessary steps for us to unleash the potential which our digital economy holds".
Hariri concluded: "As a nation, one of our competitive advantages lies in us being a talent hub for the region. We need to leverage our strong educational system and our entrepreneurial and creative youth, engage in the capacity building of our youth with the skills required to succeed in this post industrial revolution.
As part of our plan to foster innovation in Lebanon, we launched Summer of innovation, a tech platform which bridges talents in the fields of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and creativity. This platform engaged more than four thousand individuals from all over Lebanon last year, connecting some of Lebanon’s most talented minds with their support system by encouraging and facilitating events and exposure.
Today I have the pleasure to launch the 2019 edition of our Summer of innovation from the Arabnet podium. I encourage you to visit our stand here at Arabnet to introduce your concept and trust that the platform will bring your concept to the forefront of the country’s digital conversation.
In closing, I would like to say that it is audiences such as the one before which I am standing today that give me hope and motivation. When I see you all, it confirms to me that we can do the work. We can grow our economy, we can create jobs, we can innovate and we can compete."