HE Prime Minister opens first edition of Smart City Expo Doha
His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and His Excellency President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, opened the Smart City Expo Doha (SCE Doha) conference today. The opening was attended by a number of his excellency sheikhs, ministers, dignitaries, experts and officials in the field of communications and information technology.
In its first edition in Qatar, The Doha Smart Cities Expo, organised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) in partnership with Fira de Barcelona, aims to introduce innovative technology that will contribute to improving the lives of citizens, residents and visitors through social inclusion, sustainability and empowerment.
During his speech at the opening session of SCE Doha, HE Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, welcomed the attendees and thanked His Excellency President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda for honoring the conference and sharing the vision of the Republic of Rwanda of the future.
"In a short period of time, the Republic of Rwanda has been able to become an inspiration to many in Africa and the world and Kigali has earned itself a reputation as Africa's leading city and a true global example of what smart cities can achieve,” H.E. HE Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, said. “Our two countries are united by two main and influential factors, the first of which is visionary and committed leaders, represented by the leadership of the both countries, and the second factor is the accelerated pace of development thanks to smart investment in infrastructure, enhancing the investment climate, and the continued support by the state for companies and institutions from the government and private sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."
Speaking at the event, His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, said: "It is an honour to be here at this important event showcasing the important role technology is playing in urbanization. We hope to work with the partners at this event to develop the right technology to deal with the implications of urbanization in order to achieve the best results and outcomes."
He added: "There are two important considerations that must be present in our minds as we seek to build smart cities, the first is that smart cities are about human beings, the people and not computers, so the task is not to invest in technology for technology’s sake, but to invest in technology with the aim of making the lives of citizens better. The second consideration relates to the establishment of smart cities where residents and technology users must be responsible for their data at all stages of collection, storage and use. The public and private sectors must cooperate to provide the right environment based on trust to ensure their prosperity, contributing to the spread and application of technology and increasing the quality of services in our smart cities."
He further expressed happiness over his country's partnership with the State of Qatar in the field of smart cities, especially that both countries are among the top ten globally in the future vision and speed of response to address its requirements. His Excellency President Paul Kagame praised the efforts of the State of Qatar and the vision of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and devoted an innovation prize in an effort to build a society free of corruption.
Ricard Zapatero, President of International Business at Fira de Barcelona, said: "Doha's accession to the global network of organized cities is a reflection of the Qatari government applaudable commitment to the transition to smart cities and cities are looking at Doha's experience in this regard. Today, the State of Qatar is showing the world that it is seeking to improve the lives of citizens with the help of modern technology and this is a success story for the region and it puts Qatar at the forefront in this field. We are keen to showcase and highlight the Qatari experience in the global smart city community, and we will work with the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Qatar to expand and develop the next edition of the event."
The event will feature a high-level panel discussion with the participation of some of the world's leading speakers, regional and local speakers (71 speakers from 23 countries), who will be addressing a number of key topics in the field of smart cities and cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence and urban planning.
The event was attended by His Excellency Ali Sharif Al Emadi, Minister of Finance, and His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ooredoo Group, H.E. Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Free Zones Authority, and Ricard Zapatero, President of International Business at Fira de Barcelona.
The second day of the event (October 31) is scheduled to witness a ministerial session with the participation of H.E. Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, and H.E. Ms. Paula Ingabeer, Minister of Information Technology, Communications and Innovation of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Mr. Mohammad Jawad Azari Jahrami, Minister of Information and Communications Technology of the State of Iran, and H.E. Hakob Archakian, Minister of Technology of the Republic of Armenia.