Within its continuous efforts in disseminating the findings of the Arab Knowledge Index and reaching out to the widest audience of influencers, the Arab Knowledge Project held a post-launch event for the AKI 2015 and the knowledge4all portal at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
The event that took place on May 6, 2016 received warm feedback, and was broadcasted live for the first time on the UN Live web tv.
The event started with an introductory video about the Arab Knowledge Project, the Arab Knowledge Index and the portal. Opening remarks were delivered by Dr. Sima Bahous, Assistant Secretary-General; Assistant Administrator and Regional Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States, and H.E. Amb. Lana Nusseibeh , Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in New York.
Bahous said: “Arab Knowledge Index focuses on a number of vital sectors such as pre-university education and technical education, vocational training and higher education, information and communications technology and the economy, research and development and innovation, and includes 304 different indicators in these sectors.”
In turn, HE Amb. Nusseibeh said: "the Arab Knowledge Index has been launched at the right time in the Arab region, which is in dire need of development and youth empowerment programmes to overcome the current challenges".
The Arab Knowledge Index holds considerable significance as it takes into consideration for the first time new sectors such as technical education and vocational training and interaction between research and development as well as the relation between various sectors.
The workshop focused on two major topics – What ails the Arab region, and the role of education in facing extremist ideology. It discussed how to take advantage of Arab Knowledge Index in encouraging education and innovation. In addition, the workshop highlighted the key role of education in taking on extremist ideology and achieving sustainable development.
“This workshop comes as part of a series of workshops planned by MBRF and UNDP in major Arab and international cities to highlight the outcomes of the Arab Knowledge Index. The index reflects the status of knowledge in the Arab world on an annual basis, taking into consideration the specific characteristics of the Arab region. It includes a number of sub-indices in the areas of education, economy, information and communication technology, research and development and innovation,” said His Excellency Jamal Bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF.
The workshop featured prominent speakers, including Dr. Essam Heggy, Egyptian space scientist; Dr. John Dunn, President of Western Michigan University; and Shireen Sabanegh, Deputy Director for Education and Programs at the Children's Museum Jordan. The other speakers were Dr. Islam Hussein, Research Scientist at MIT; Dr. Wolfgang Schl?r, associate provost of the Haenick Institute at Western Michigan University; Dr. Hani Al-Turki, Coordinator of the Arab Knowledge Project; Mohammed Tharwat, Researcher at the University of Caltech, and Dr. Hilda Blanco, Director of Center for Sustainable Cities at University of Southern California, among a select of attendants.