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UAE tops Arab states in Global Knowledge Index 2023


Jamal bin Huwaireb, Executive Director of MBRF, Khaled Abdel Shafi, Director of the UNDP Regional Center for Arab States; and Dr. Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor and Project Manager, Knowledge Project, UNDP.

The UAE took first position among Arab countries in the GKI 2023, which covered a total of 133 countries, including 12 Arab states. The GKI evaluates 155 variables from more than 40 international databases. Qatar ranked second, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in third place. Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman ranked fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Tunisia, Palestine, Egypt and Morocco were ranked seventh to tenth, while Jordan and Mauritania were ranked eleventh and twelfth. The UAE stands out as a leader, particularly in terms of its knowledge infrastructure.

Areas of strength

The GKI 2023 shed light on the strengths and areas requiring improvement in Arab countries, with the aim of reducing the existing gap. The UAE exhibits strengths in several aspects, particularly in metrics such as active mobile broadband subscriptions per hundred inhabitants, upload and download speeds of mobile devices, educational level (bachelor’s degree or equivalent), business activity rate of employees and the percentage of people with standard ICT skills. . These strengths underline the UAE’s exceptional performance in areas such as the Internet, education, human resources, communications and information.

Qatar claimed the second position among Arab countries in the GKI, showing significant strengths in several fields, including the GERD per researcher, the unemployment rate with advanced education, the vulnerable employment rate, the proportion of TVET occupations and the rate of unemployment among individuals. with vocational education. These strengths are predominantly concentrated in the research and development sector, as well as human resources, education and training.

Saudi Arabia showed solid performance in various areas. The Kingdom’s strengths include a high percentage of people possessing standard ICT skills, the state of cluster development, the growth of innovative companies, the percentage of companies with new products and services on the market and the percentage of households with access to Internet at home. These strengths are associated with the information and communications technology sectors, as well as productive and Internet-related fields.

In GKI 2023, Kuwait secures fourth position among Arab states, showing strength in several key areas, including value added of industry and services (% of GDP), subscription-based fixed broadband Internet traffic and the proportion of trained students and teachers in preschool and primary school. education, as well as the vulnerable employment rate. These strengths underline Kuwait’s impressive achievements in sectors such as industry, services, primary education and employment.

Egypt’s strengths focus prominently on higher education, production and research. This includes exceptional ratios of female to male teachers in tertiary education, market concentration, companies introducing new products and services to the market, the state of cluster development, and citations per document.

In Morocco, strengths were seen in the poverty headcount rate, industrial design applications per 100 billion GDP, and the percentage of researchers in higher education. Additionally, other strengths include the percentage of government spending on secondary and primary education (% of GDP). These indicators highlight promising prospects for the industrial, research and educational sectors.

The GKI serves as a valuable and practical tool for assessing the global knowledge landscape. It offers valuable information on the challenges encountered in the field of sustainable and knowledge-based development.

The GKI, which consists of seven sub-indices, assesses the performance of six core knowledge sectors, including pre-university education, technical education and vocational training, higher education, information and communication technologies (ICT), research , development and innovation, and the economy.

Additionally, an enabling environment subindex captures the social, political, economic, health and environmental contexts that influence these sectors.


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