The initiative of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy to establish local and regional data centers in the Arab region

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Date: 14 - 09 - 2021

The Arab Federation for Digital Economy of the Council of Arab Economic Unity in the League of Arab States signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a joint initiative, the first of its kind, to establish a new regional data center in the Kingdom of Bahrain to promote digital transformation in the region, with the aim of supporting local economies and contributing to protecting and enhancing data security and initiatives Digital transformation in the Arab countries.

The signing of the agreement was attended by His Excellency Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League, and His Excellency Dr. Ali Muhammad Al-Khoury, Advisor to the Council of Arab Economic Unity, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Federation for Digital Economy, representatives of the “ATDXT” group implementing the project, and a number of officials from both sides, in addition to a large number of officials of international companies and representatives of investment funds.

The Arab Federation for Digital Economy explained that the main data center in Bahrain will serve all member states of the League of Arab States, as these countries will be able to benefit from the solutions provided by the center to store the data of all countries participating in the initiative in Bahrain as a major driver behind the comprehensive digital economic transformation efforts in the region.

The role of these solutions will be based on supporting institutions in the public and private sectors in the member states of the League of Arab States, with the aim of improving the competitiveness of Arab economies and enhancing their integration into the global economy.

The environmentally friendly data center in Bahrain is designed to serve as a technology solutions hub to host advanced technology and digital transformation solutions. It will support the transfer and dissemination of the experience of these solutions in partner countries and members of the League of Arab States, such as the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait and Jordan in the first phase, with other countries to follow soon.

Simple and secure technology solutions will cover e-government services, e-commerce, e-health, digital education, and secure financial technology. It will also include smart transportation solutions, digital identity solutions, communications systems, digital governance systems, crime management and cybersecurity, e-agriculture platforms, solar and renewable energy solutions, in addition to other businesses.

On this occasion, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, expressed his pride and appreciation for the initiative and for choosing the Kingdom of Bahrain to be the headquarters of this center with its important vital objectives, which proves the excellence of the investment environment in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the care provided by the competent authorities concerned with attracting investments and capital in the Kingdom. And his support, and the many facilities it provides to investors, expressing his pleasure that the group plans to transform this center into its main headquarters to provide advanced technological services in the field of digital transformation, in order to provide the best services to its partners in many Arab countries.

Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, said: “The League of Arab States and the Arab Union are actively working to promote the common Arab strategic vision for the digital economy, as digital transformation and related topics, such as artificial intelligence and digital data, have become essential resources for this era, And that this initiative will contribute to strengthening Arab cooperation in the digital world.”

In turn, His Excellency Dr. Ali Muhammad Al-Khoury, Advisor to the Council of Arab Economic Unity and President of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy at the League of Arab States: “The Arab world is developing at a rapid pace, and our digital transformation is the basis of this steady development. Arab countries are increasingly cooperating in digital economies for the benefit of all residents of the region, as this initiative is a leap forward in the digital space, and we look forward to all member states to make the best use of this project with the aim of achieving collective prosperity in our Arab region.”

Khalid Ibrahim Humaidan, CEO of the Economic Development Board in the Kingdom of Bahrain, said: “We are pleased that Bahrain has been chosen as a center for this initiative, and we look forward to achieving the goals of digital transformation in the Arab world across various economic sectors. Without a doubt, the digital infrastructure, the future regulatory environment, and the local human resources with technical expertise make Bahrain an enabling environment to serve as the main hub for such digital transformation projects.”

About this agreement, GS Marthy, founder and CEO of ATDXT Group, said: “We are pleased with our partnership, and our endeavor to host the first of its kind, multi-million dollar regional data centers in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as this initiative will be a major and complementary step to the digital transformation efforts in the region. And it will enhance the competitiveness of Arab countries and support their integration with the global economy, and we are confident that our initiative is the best of its kind for skills development, as it will focus on using the latest technologies, and will create huge and qualitative job opportunities in the technical fields in the future throughout the Arab countries.”

It is worth noting that the agreement comes within the steps of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy to implement the “Arab Vision for the Digital Economy”, which was announced in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2018, as the agreement is set to support cooperation between the two sides in a number of initiatives stipulated in the “Vision.” Arabic” in the areas of digital transformation; Including: cloud services and infrastructure.

The total value of the projects targeted to be implemented in cooperation with the “ATDXT” Foundation is estimated at 700 million US dollars, and it is expected that these projects will have a significant economic return in supporting innovation and digital business models and environments in the public and private sectors in the Arab and African countries.

It is worth noting that the League of Arab States and the Arab Union for the Digital Economy had announced a qualitative initiative in December 2018, when the Arab Vision for the Digital Economy was launched from the city of Abu Dhabi – under the generous patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The strategy included five main axes and twenty strategic objectives, and more than 50 programs emerged from them, based on infrastructure development, support for innovation and digital government transformation, empowering the private sector, and deepening and strengthening services directed to the Arab citizen.

The importance of the “Arab Vision” is that it calls for rebuilding and developing the economic systems in the Arab region on sustainable development foundations, benefiting from the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and supporting joint action efforts to promote and develop the digital economy in the Arab world.

Harvard University, Cairo University, international organizations, and experts from the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Economic Cooperation Organization, and the European Union participated in preparing and developing the Arab vision for the digital economy.