UAE to equip government workforce with new tech skills

Officials will need to learn more about the fast-changing digital world, minister says

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The UAE will soon launch a project to equip a large number of government workers with the skills to handle emerging technology.

Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Governmental Development and the Future, announced the project on the final day of the Dubai Future Forum.

The initiative will seek to “upskill the whole government, starting from our leaders, policymakers to legislators, so they can understand the new sectors, new types of works and technology”, she said.

The digital world has no borders and usually the laws or regulations are bound to jurisdiction. Where is the jurisdiction in the digital world?
Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future,

Ms Al Roumi said public sector workers needed to be prepared for the ever-evolving technology world.

“Talking about the metaverse — if someone harms your avatar, what would be the implications? Are our ministries of interior and safety ready for that? The digital world has no borders and usually the laws or regulations are bound to jurisdiction,” she said.

“Where is the jurisdiction in the digital world? These questions have no answer here. We need to upskill government officials, including our ministers, legislators and policymakers, so they can understand that.”

She said big technology companies had a responsibility in helping governments to equip their staff with the requisite skills.

This requires “a collaborative team effort” so that government workers are able to do their jobs properly, Ms Al Roumi said.

“This is not the job of legislators only. You need to bring private sector and society to think of different elements and, in the UAE, we are aware of that,” she said.

The Emirates is hosting a new forum at the World Government Summit in 2023, which will focus on regulating the future.

The annual event brings together policymakers and business executives from around the world to exchange ideas on governance and the technology revolution.

The summit provides an opportunity for global collaboration, Ms Al Roumi said.

“Governments needs to work together to find the solutions and I think there is an opportunity on the global scene where governments can come together with tech firms, legislators and international organisations to help revive the laws and regulations,” she said.

“And I think the World Government Summit is an excellent platform to continue the discussion.”

Updated: October 12, 2022, 8:02 AM