GCC E-Performance Index 2022 reveals strong digital transformation efforts by GCC countries
The latest GCC E-Performance Index 2022 reveals that all countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region have performed exceptionally well on five major global indicators, displaying significant progress in digital transformation. The report was issued by Orient Planet Research (OPR), in collaboration with information and communications technology (ICT) expert and independent researcher, Abdul Kader Al Kamli.
The UAE achieved tangible growth in the Index with an average score of 66.22, followed by Saudi Arabia with an average rating of 59.26 and Qatar with 57.63. Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait scored average ratings of 54.02, 53.43 and 51.36 respectively. The report highlights the increased spending on latest technological solutions to achieve digitally inclusive economies. According to a recent report, UAE’s ICT spending is estimated to reach USD 23 billon by 2024, while Qatar’s spending will be around USD 9 billion, and Kuwait’s spending is predicted to reach USD 10.1 billion by 2024.
The GCC countries have increasingly focused on the roles of science and technology in building research development and innovation (RDI) capacity to create national innovation systems (NIS). The World Economic Forum highlighted the unique set of characteristics of the GCC countries that presents numerous opportunities in leveraging emerging technological solutions to create opportunities. The introduction of 5G and associated use cases, such as education, health, government and smart cities, can help mitigate some regional and local challenges, including natural resource management and economic diversification, with a view towards sustainable development and inclusive growth.
There have been major developments in the UAE with the recent Al Amal (Hope) Mars mission, which helped raise the profile of technology skills in the GCC. Though the region is still reliant on oil and gas production and exports, countries are making efforts to diversify their economies. S&P Global projected that non-oil GDP in Gulf countries will reach nearly 37 per cent by 2022 as compared to 29.2 percent in 2012.
The GCC region’s ICT development has strengthened the digital economy, enhanced productivity, and created efficient means for direct access to government e-services. A report by Global Data projected Bahrain’s spending to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6 per cent from USD 1.4 billion in 2019 to USD 2.1 billion by 2024. Another report by International Data Corporation (IDC), projects Saudi Arabia to spend USD 30.9 billion, with public sector spending reaching USD 3 billion by the end of 2022.
Recognising the plethora of opportunities and challenges posed by Fourth Industrial Revolution, governments across the GCC have prioritised digital transformation keeping it at the core of their economic and social development plans. As a key component of their respective Vision 2030 plans, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait have each launched various significant digital initiatives. The Expo 2020 Dubai became the first World Expo and the Arab world’s biggest event to utilise a multi-cloud approach for its infrastructure, leveraging Etisalat 1C and AWS.
The GCC E-Performance Index aggregates each countries’ performance in the top five global indices – The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2021 by INSEAD, The Network Readiness Index (NRI) 2021 by Portulans Institute, Government AI Readiness Index 2021 (GAR) by Oxford Insights, The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022 by World International Property Organization (WIPO) and UN E-Government Development Index (EGDI) 2022 by the United Nations.
The GCC E-Performance Index evaluates GCC member countries on several different parameters indicative of growth, which are based on their performance in major global indices. The index highlights the increasing investment by the GCC countries for integration of latest technological solutions across various sectors including healthcare, technology, food services, aviation and education.
The research team for GCC E-Performance Index calculated the average of each GCC country per indicator on the basis of a unified scale of 0 to 100, keeping in mind that all indicators do not utilize the same scale. The scores were adjusted according to the calculated average, staring from highest value