ICT, Oman, Economic development, Council of Ministers

National ICT Strategy to be submitted for approval this year

A unified national strategy that seeks to unlock the immense potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to drive the Sultanate’s long-term economic development, is due to be finalised and submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval this year.
According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which is overseeing the formulation of this landmark blueprint, the National ICT Strategy will lay the groundwork for harnessing the transformational potential of ICT to support employment creation and GDP growth.
“The strategy under development by the Ministry is the first of its kind to integrate information and communications technology into a unified strategic plan, aimed at creating synergy to develop various aspects of the sector in alignment with the next stage of Oman’s economic and technological development, thereby sustaining economic growth capable of contributing to GDP growth,” the Ministry stated in its newly published 2018 Annual Report.


Consultations are planned with various stakeholders in the public and private sectors for their inputs before the National Strategy for ICT is drafted and submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, the report stated.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Transport and Communications unveiled a high profile umbrella organisation that groups together a number of fledgling entities tasked with unlocking ICT related business and economic opportunities.
The Oman ICT Group, which has been placed under the auspices of the State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) — the biggest of Oman’s sovereign wealth funds — currently comprises Oman Broadband Company, Oman Towers Company, Blockchain Company, and Space Communication Technologies Company. Other ICT related entities may be added to the group once established by the government or in partnership with the private sector.
The Oman ICT Group is broadly modelled on the lines of the Oman Global Logistics Group (Asyad) and Oman Aviation Group, which serve as the investment and development arms of the government in their respective sectors. As the parent organisation for ICT related initiatives, Oman ICT Group will oversee investments and programmes linked to the development of ICT infrastructure, strengthening of information security, driving the growth of a digital economy, and developing a Centre of Excellence with a specific focus on SME mentoring and support.
Importantly, the new Group will also support initiatives and investments that seek to leverage the potential of emergent technologies that are collectively part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. These include blockchain, Internet of Things, robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and cyber security.


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Source: Oman Observer


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