The Arab States Digital Day at the Mobile World Congress drives digital transformation in the Arab States

March 3, 2024

Barcelona  – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), marked a milestone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024 with a high-level Arab States Digital Day, convening over 70 representatives, including ministers, regulator heads, government advisors, and policymakers. This event underscores the commitment to fostering inclusive digital transformation in the Arab region, with a strategic focus on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI).

Ms. Marina Walter, UNDP Deputy Regional Director, emphasized the pivotal role of Digital for Sustainable Development (D4SD) Partnership, a new, robust and forward-thinking initiative that aims to promote and accelerate digital transformation across the Arab States region. Walter stated, "in the realm of digital advancements, the D4SD initiative guides our collective efforts to advance inclusive development in the Arab region. UNDP's role is not merely to advocate but to actively facilitate public and private partnerships” She added: “serving as the intermediary, we navigate the concerted landscape to ensure that the benefits of technology leaves no one behind in the digital era."

The nexus between digital transformation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the central theme of the event, is crucial for the Arab States. Effective collaboration between governments, the private sector, and international organizations is vital for advancing sustainable development initiatives.

The Arab States Digital Day at MWC 2024 served as a dynamic platform for discussions, engagements, and strategic planning to pave the way for DPI and other critical aspects of digital transformation. During the event, UNDP and GSMA showcased a commitment to forging strategic alliances, transcending traditional boundaries to address the challenges of inclusive digital transformation. The partners also highlighted the crucial role of Digital Public Infrastructure as a cornerstone for widespread digital transformation. Discussions centered around policy frameworks, regulatory measures, and technological advancements needed to fortify DPI initiatives.

With a diverse array of stakeholders, the Arab States Digital Day underscored the paramount importance of inclusivity, ensuring that digital advancements uplift all segments of society.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve with an accelerated momentum, UNDP In the Arab States and GSMA, alongside partners, are navigating this transformation individually and collectively to support and take concrete steps to advances in digitalization to help accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs. The nexus between digital transformation and the SDGs reinforces the urgency of effective collaboration between governments, the private sector, and international organizations. By initiating dialogues, forming partnerships, and leveraging the D4SD initiative, the partners aim to shape a future where digital opportunities are not only accessible but actively contribute to sustainable development for all.

For more information:

Media Contacts UNDP | Fatma Elzahraa Yassin | Regional Communications Advisor a.i. |

GSMA | Amr Hesham | Policy Director MENA |