UAE ranks first in Arab world in UN’s Global Knowledge Index 2021, unveiled at Expo 2020 Dubai

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DUBAI, – The UAE has been ranked first in the Arab world in the United Nation’s Global Knowledge Index (GKI) 2021, unveiled at the #UNHub at Expo 2020 Dubai today (13 December) by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF).
 
The GKI is the sole index that measures knowledge on a global scale, and has been produced annually since 2017 by the UNDP in partnership with MBRF. Now in its edition, the index includes 155 variables carefully selected by more than 40 international sources and databases.
 
His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO, MBRF, said: “The world is not completely out of the grip of COVID-19, but without doubt what stands out as we negotiated these trying times is the relentless quest for knowledge that led us to develop vaccines, as well as remedial and precautionary measures against the virus. Obviously, this continuing focus on knowledge and its triumph is what has led us to bring back careful normalcy in our daily life, and what has enabled this face-to-face meeting today.”
 
The UAE ranked 11th in the world, while Switzerland remained first globally for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Sweden, the USA, Finland and the Netherlands. Qatar (38), Saudi Arabia (40), Kuwait (48), Oman (52), Egypt (53) and Bahrain (55) all also featured in the top 60.
 
Khaled Abdel-Shafi, Regional Hub Manager, UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States, said: “It is encouraging to see that in certain key branch indexes that drive knowledge, innovation and education, Arab countries have been faring well and [are] firmly on the road to progress. Significantly, it shows the positive impact of the awareness that the new world is largely shaped and led by countries that have an edge in knowledge.”
 
The GKI saw increased participation among countries in the region, as well as around the world, HE Jamal bin Huwaireb said, highlighting rising global commitment towards placing knowledge as a cornerstone of economic and social growth.
 
A total of 154 countries participated in the GKI 2021, compared with 138 last year. For the first time, Iraq and Palestine joined the portfolio of regional countries who participated, bringing the total to 16.
 
Dena Assaf, United Nations Resident Coordinator for the United Arab Emirates and Deputy Commissioner General for the UN at Expo 2020, said: “When the world stands at these challenging crossroads, the increased global participation at GKI is a robust indicator of how knowledge is the single most factor that will help world nations prosper and lead in front for the benefit of posterity with sustainable focus. In this context, the GKI series has developed into an accepted and prudent benchmark in assessing knowledge-based societies and their growth.”
 
The launch ceremony was followed by a panel discussion titled Rethinking Policymaking in the Age of Knowledge, with the participation of His Excellency Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education; His Excellency Dr Tarek Shawki, Egypt’s Minister of Education; His Excellency Ahmed Hanandeh, Jordan’s Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship; and Her Excellency Dr Fadia Kiwan, Director General, Arab Women

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