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What Jordan’s digital change requires

Dec 01,2020 - Last updated at Dec 01,2020

The information and communications technology (ICT) sector is one of the main pillars of the Jordanian economy, contributing to approximately 12 per cent of annual GDP. Creative innovations by the talented members of Jordanian society are key to fostering economic growth as well as societal development, in line with the ambitions of the country’s digital transformation strategy. 

Jordan’s digital transformation strategy places data at the core of development, with the vision that knowledge should be available to all. The well-developed technology sector in the country has led Jordan to be a leader in technological innovation in the Arab region. As His Majesty King Abdullah has said previously, Jordan’s ICT gateways have become a conduit for innovation. Building upon this impressive feat will enable Jordan to achieve sustainable economic development by leveraging the transformative capacity of technology, especially as a driver of productivity across all sectors. Advanced technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud computing will contribute to this, as well as creating new jobs for a knowledge economy. 

However, in order to generate more value from technology and empower digitalisation throughout all industries, we must empower more talent within this critical sector. A digitally-driven, intelligent nation requires digital-savvy citizens; especially those who have the tools and imagination to continue the momentum of innovation throughout the country. 

In particular, public-private collaborations will help our society to transition into one that is empowered by technology. Partnerships between governmental organizations, academia, training agencies, and private sector enterprises will promote innovation and growth of the ICT talent ecosystem, enabling us to put the building blocks of ICT to good use in realising Jordan’s ambitions for the future.  

Mutah University, for example, has partnered with global technology leader Huawei to provide advanced ICT training to our students. This contributes towards building the local ICT talent ecosystem by inspiring students to develop their technology acumen, skills, and creativity, while working towards achieving excellence in the field. Their education is influenced by the latest global knowledge and best practices, providing practical experiences that help to bridge the gap between the classroom and the working world. Our partnership with Huawei on ICT local talent nurturing, endorsed by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship and other government entities, embodies the open and collaborative approach the public and private sectors needs for the next phase of socio-economic development in Jordan.

This is what Jordan needs for its digital future. By harnessing the potential of our country’s talented youth, and providing them with the tools they need to excel in the ICT field, we can lay the foundation for continuous digital transformation that will bolster the economy, transform industries, and create a knowledge-based society for the future. The young ICT generation is a valuable asset to our country which we need to invest in and build on to reach the anticipated sustainable future.

 

Ahmad Abadleh‬ is an, associate professor at Mutah University’s Computer Science Department

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