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Africa News Travel & Tourism

Digital technology to shore up tourism in Africa

African executives say technology key to hasten tourism recovery

The recovery of Africa’s travel and hospitality sectors after pandemic-related slump will be dependent on greater adoption of digital tools to ensure key operations like bookings were seamless, executives said.

Speaking at a forum in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, convened by Pesapal, a pan African payment solutions provider, the officials stressed that technology was key to hastening post-pandemic recovery of the continent’s tourism industry.

Agosta Liko, the executive director of Pesapal said that by investing in digital tools, tourism players will place their enterprises on a recovery trajectory, besides strengthening their resilience and agility in the face of unpredictable shocks.

The Nairobi forum themed “Adapt & Thrive: Harnessing technology in travel and hospitality”, convened by Pesapal in partnership with Oracle Hospitality, a technology solutions firm, brought together hoteliers, tour operators, restaurant and bar owners to discuss integration of digital tools in their recovery agenda.

Liko said that a partnership between Pesapal and Oracle Hospitality has facilitated seamless deployment of digital infrastructure to revolutionize travel and hospitality sectors in Africa, ensuring they were profitable and resilient.

He added that these technology solutions have enabled hotels in the continent to accept real-time payment, online sales and virtual booking, in a post-pandemic era.

Oliver Menzel, Oracle Hospitality Alliances & Channels Manager for Middle East and Africa said that if hotels and tour operators integrate modern technology and innovations in key operations, they are likely to reap profits and withstand shocks like pandemics, geopolitical tensions and climate change.

ALSO READ: Digital technology to shore up tourism in Africa

According to Menzel, digital payment solutions and virtual tours have improved the revenue base for investors in the hospitality sector besides providing a satisfactory experience to local and foreign tourists.

Felix Musa, the revenue manager at Kenya’s Sarova Hotel Group said that adoption of smart technologies that accelerated at the peak of the pandemic ensured that travel and hospitality sectors remained profitable and responsive to emerging needs of their clients like enhanced safety.xxx

Tourists in Tanzania

At least 922,692 foreign tourists visited Tanzania in 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Damas Ndumbaro said.

Addressing a press conference in the capital Dodoma, Ndumbaro said 620,867 foreign tourists visited the east African nation in 2020, reports Xinhua news agency.

Ndumbaro said the number of domestic tourists visiting the country’s attractions increased to 788,933 tourists in 2021 from 562,549 recorded the previous year.

He said revenue collected from foreign tourists increased from $714.59 million in 2020 to about $1.3 billion in 2021.

Tanzania is a country with many tourist attractions.  Approximately 38 per cent of Tanzania’s land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation.  There are 17 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas and marine parks. Tanzania is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.

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Arab News Events UAE News

Mastercard, NBS Bank to adopt digital payments in Malawi

The partnership will deliver a seamless experience and drive greater adoption and utilization of digital payments for NBS Bank’s customers…reports Asian Lite News

Mastercard and Network International today re-affirmed their shared commitment to drive the adoption of digital payments and support emerging markets’ transition to a cashless economy by announcing a strategic partnership with NBS Bank plc in Malawi. This will be the first implementation of an innovative digital payment’s platform launched by Mastercard and Network International last year.

NBS Bank will launch a Mastercard virtual (non-plastic, non-physical) payment solution that will enable its customers to make a wide range of e-commerce payments to merchants that accept Mastercard locally and internationally. For instance, virtual cardholders can pay for subscription streaming services, advertising on social media platforms, online shopping as well as travel and bills. It will also allow small business owners to purchase from international suppliers.

To pay for purchases using the virtual payment solution, NBS Bank customers will receive a 16-digit card number, security code, and expiry date, which they will use to complete an online purchase much like they would with a physical card. The payment solution also features multiple layers of security to ensure that the customer’s financial data is always secure and private.

Governments and NGOs across Africa are publicly supporting digital payments and less reliance on hard cash to secure the financial inclusion of more people. With the growth of the digital world, millions of people and businesses are gaining access to financial services and digital payments on their gadgets.

Kwanele Ngwenya, CEO, NBS Bank: “As a caring bank and in line with NBS Bank’s philosophy of ‘taking banking to the people’, we are excited to partner with Mastercard and Network International to offer our customers enhanced payment capabilities that will enable them to make a wide range of payments all from the devices in their pockets. This partnership will also help to accelerate financial inclusion and empower the most vulnerable in society.”

According to Gabriel Swanepoel, Country Manager for Mastercard, Southern Africa, people and business are increasingly turning to digital and remote payments, a shift that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Utilizing the innovative capabilities of both Mastercard and Network International, we can support NBS Bank in their digital transformation efforts so that they can provide an enhanced payment experience to their customers. This in turn will enable more people and businesses to benefit from a growing digital economy and world beyond cash,” says Swanepoel.

Mastercard and Network International have a long-standing partnership, including Mastercard’s strategic investment in Network International and a shared commitment to develop innovative payment solutions that will grow electronic transactions across the MEA region.

”Our partnership with Mastercard is focused on rapidly growing electronic payment usage across our region, and this agreement with NBS Bank is a major step towards meeting that goal,” added Chris Wood, Regional Managing Director, Processing- Southern Africa and PALOPS, Network International. “We look forward to working with NBS Bank to accelerate the move from cash to digital solutions.”

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Africa News Arab News News

Africa urged to join digital market place

Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, deputy chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, says Africa should seize fast-developing digital market space

 Africa should seize the fast-developing digital market space so as to boost access to goods and services across the continent, Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, deputy chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, said.

The AU Commission deputy chief made the remarks as the African continent joined the global community in commemorating the 39th World Consumer Rights Day annually marked on March 15 under the theme “Fair Digital Finance.”

“Seizing the fast-developing digital market space is particularly important in our African context where access to countless goods and services remains restricted for the vast majority,” Nsanzabaganwa said in her statement concerning the World Consumer Rights Day, Xinhua reported.

Noting that the African continent has an internet penetration rate of 43 percent, the deputy chief said innovation is transforming how people conduct financial transactions and live their lives throughout the continent, emphasizing that digital finance and its implication on financial inclusion and financial stability is crucial for development in Africa.

Nsanzabaganwa noted that the African continent is home to a growing number of digital financial services deployments.

The deputy chairperson warned that digital finance consumers are increasingly exposed to scams, frauds, phishing and data malpractices, which is further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is necessary to explore solutions that will mitigate these threats while still making digital finance attractive, as governments seek to expand access to digital banking services,” said Nsanzabaganwa, stressing it is vital to acknowledge the risks and enact strict consumer protections, especially for the most vulnerable people, such as those with limited educational attainment or financial experience.

She said Africa’s burgeoning youth population is integrating with the ever-changing digital world and it is necessary for the continent’s decision-makers to harness this exposure in a way that is optimal for the continent’s youth.

Nsanzabaganwa, however, stressed that African women are still less likely than men to have basic formal financial services.

ALSO READ: South Africa Firm on Fight Against Graft

“Mobile money and the ability to easily and safely receive money from social networks has been found to be a drawing factor for them and thus helping to shrink the gender differences across the continent,” she said.

Last week, the AU launched the Women and Youth Financial and Economic Inclusion (WYFEI 2030) initiative, which is a collective impact approach that seeks to achieve social change in respect of the financial and economic status and participation of women and youth in Africa.

According to Nsanzabaganwa, the success of the initiative relies largely on the strength of digital financial services as well as the importance of making them fair and safe.

Covid Situation

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa reached 11,284,902 as of Tuesday evening, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.

The specialised healthcare agency of the African Union said the Covid-19 death toll across the continent stands at 250,403, and some 10,560,754 patients have recovered from the disease, so far.

South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya are among the countries with the most cases on the continent, said the Africa CDC, Xinhua news agency reported.

South Africa has recorded the most Covid-19 cases in Africa with 3,695,175 cases, followed by the two northern African countries of Morocco and Tunisia with 1,162,125 and 1,029,762 cases, respectively, it said.

In terms of regional caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region in Africa, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected, said the Africa CDC.

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Arts & Culture

‘Digital is an alternative’: Rakhi Sarkar

This Founder Managing Trustee of the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMOMA) for a decade laments that curation is yet to get its place in the Indian art scene and says it is not practised seriously here…writes Sukant Deepak

“Our aim has been to provide an all India platform for young artists, especially to those coming from smaller towns and semi-rural areas of the country. We are happy by the way the project has impacted the lives and career graphs of young artists. Galleries, universities and institutions have imbibed much of the talents that have emerged from CIMA Awards,” says Rakhi Sarkar, the founder of CIMA (Centre of International Modern Art), one of India’s premier art centres.

The recently concluded fourth edition of CIMA awards for visual arts witnessed 183 artworks from across the country shortlisted for the final round by the preliminary jury and 13 winners and their works selected by the final one (jury).

Widely known for setting up the ‘Affordable Art Mela’ that aims to bring art back into the public domain by offering an opportunity to buy art at affordable prices, Sarkar who brought the ‘mela’ to Delhi(2018) and Mumbai (2020) after a positive reception in Kolkata for over a decade, says, “To appreciate beauty, excellence and talent remains every individual’s right. If you accept this, then art cannot remain the purview of the wealthy and elite alone. We hope to extend it to non-metropolitan towns as well,” she adds.

Interesting several major artists offer their works for the mela at much lower costs. “They are supportive in order to provide young professionals and intellectuals with an opportunity to collect serious art at affordable prices. The ‘mela’ aspires to promote young collectors,” says Sarkar.

This Founder Managing Trustee of the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art (KMOMA) for a decade laments that curation is yet to get its place in the Indian art scene and says it is not practised seriously here.

“There is no scope whatsoever for getting training from art institutions and museums. Curation has a practical angle. One learns first-hand through ground experience. It involves imagination and creative flair. The investigative side involves research and erudition, but the final narrative and presentation need creativity and flair. We need seamless integration of the two elements.”

Talking about how most galleries have adopted a hybrid model in face of the Pandemic, she feels that digital is an alternative and certainly better than not showing at all, and to an extent bridging gaps between destinations.

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“However, this virtual mode cannot be a replacement for physical exhibitions without which the scale and actual visual impact is lost completely,” she says.

Adding that what most artists have gone through in the past two years necessitate a kind of an umbrella organisation boasting of public and private partnership that extends help in such dire times, she elaborates, “The recent past has witnessed so many artists from across the spectrum going through immense financial insecurity. An organisation on such lines can ensure some kind of support during a huge crisis like the one we witnessed in the form of Pandemic.”

A decade back, in her capacity as the Chairperson of FICCI Art Council for Ministry of Culture, GOI, Sarkar had recommended through a detailed policy framework document a total overhaul of the syllabus of art schools, in partnership with major visual art faculties from across the world, but sadly nothing has been implemented as yet.

‘The of art schools’ curriculum is dismally outdated, and the 19th-century model is still in use. The conceptual side of art making is totally overlooked and the theoretical framework is very sketchy and inadequate. Until the standard of education improves the quality and depth of art practice will remain severely hampered, says Sarkar.

Talking about the multiple private art foundations that have come up in the country, especially Kolkata, she says, “It is excellent that several art institutions are coming up in the private sector. There is room for more across the country, given how vast and varied India is. These art institutions are fulfilling a paramount role in promoting and nurturing art.”

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-Top News Asia News

Infowar against India meets a digital check

Through Digital India, the quality of education is capable of being equalised across city and village, or the well-off and the poor, writes Prof. Madhav Nalapat

Leaders are often judged after their time by just a single action of theirs. Abraham Lincoln entered history for his role in keeping the US united, thereby ensuring the emancipation of the Black population. Indira Gandhi is remembered principally for the Emergency she declared in 1975. Lal Bahadur Shastri will be remembered for initiating the Green Revolution and for his wisdom in ensuring that a conflict over language was avoided in India in a manner absent in Sri Lanka.

Even the short-lived Chandra Shekhar government is remembered for the break with Nehruvian non-alignment caused by permitting US military aircraft to land in India en route to Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Narendra Modi has been the most transformational Prime Minister of India since Nehru. Ensuring maximum governance through minimum government may still be a work in progress, but that objective is steadily getting actualised through the growth of the digital space in India. Already, usage of telecom services and products is among the largest in the world, which is why the Modi ban on PRC apps has cost the Chinese companies involved billions of dollars in market capitalisation. Should Facebook or Twitter get blocked in India even for a few weeks, their market cap would fall steeply as well.

The US is not China, so such a ban is unlikely, despite the India-phobic policy of some media platforms. The NYT is reported to have advertised for a business correspondent in India. The job description was explicit, that the “newspaper of record” was looking for a journalist who would do a hatchet job on a democracy that is on track to emerge as the third largest economy in the world by 2029. The CCP must be pleased at such dampening of the investment climate in India at a time when several businesses are trying to move out of the PRC. Even during the 1990s, the line taken by the NYT was very similar to that followed by the Clinton White House, which sought technology to India while lavishing it on China, and sought to “cap, reduce and eliminate” nuclear weapons and delivery systems in India, this while ignoring the manner in which Pakistan was being helped by Beijing to develop both.

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Rather, the Clinton White House continuously pressured India to surrender Kashmir to elements that were working closely with the Pakistan army. Assisted by sometimes clumsy messaging from India, and by the international attention given to fringe groups within the Hindu community, large swathes of opinion within the Atlantic alliance and elsewhere accept the false narrative of India being at the tip of religion-based genocide. Such coverage is reminiscent of the 1960s or the 1970s, when much of the “informed” commentary within the Atlantic alliance centred on the “imminence of a meltdown” in India. Unfortunately for such forecasters of doom, the economy did not collapse in the years ahead, but did better.

Through digital pathways, bypasses avoiding the blockages caused by control freaks and corrupt elements within the bureaucracy are multiplying in a variety of fields of activity. All this is happening in Modi’s India. The security and foreign exchange problems caused by excessive reliance on PRC-manufactured mobile handsets are lessening as a consequence of steps being taken to ramp up mobile handset manufacture in India. While in the past, handset manufacturers and telecom service providers were shutting shop in parts of India, these days such units are being set up. Attention is being given to countries such as Taiwan in the manufacture of essential items such as silicon chips. It helps that India is poised to become among the top markets in the world in many such items.

The unfortunate-at-times propensity for even public enterprises of quality to take decisions solely based on their financial interests was demonstrated in the ISRO-Oppo agreement. In the coming years, given the rising security risks associated with the PRC under Xi, sales of PRC-sourced mobile handsets may need to get stopped altogether in India, as in several other countries that have an interest in preventing the hegemony of any single power over the Indo-Pacific. Given the importance to the future of the systems being developed by ISRO (an institution that has proved its value to the country many times over), trusting entities from a country known for siphoning off technology and data for military uses may not be the wisest course.

The PRC has derived substantial benefit from collaborations in India, and in the process, has hollowed out several industries, not just the larger entities but medium, small and even cottage industries as well. Stoppage is needed of substantial smuggling of items into India. Those responsible must be prevented from doing further damage to the country’s interests. Until the changes that have become visible during Modi 2.0, bureaucratic hurdles and outright sabotage through use of various facets of the governance system were the norm for foreign players and their Indian agents. Assisted by the greater transparency that is a feature of the digital age, such sabotage of promising start-ups is becoming much less common.

By 2024, it is anticipated that as much as 900 million citizens of India will have access to the internet. Just as the NHAI is working assiduously towards the creation of a much improved road network across India, there needed to be similar attention getting paid to improving the information highway network in the country, through making fast and reliable broadband services available even in the most neglected corners of India. Through Digital India, the quality of education is capable of being equalised across city and village, or the well-off and the poor. Increasingly, healthcare and access to the job market are getting accessible to formerly ignored section. Substantial attention is being paid to the election speeches of Prime Minister Modi. The 21st century is coming to India through digital technology in hundreds of millions of homes, creating changes that become irreversible before 2029. Who knows, even the NYT may have a change of heart then about the future of India.

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-Top News Dubai UAE News

Dubai Chambers outline priorities under new 3-year strategy

The Board of Directors of Dubai Chambers has approved the organisation’s strategy for the next three years (2022-2024), which is based on four main pillars…reports Asian Lite News

The Board of Directors of Dubai Chambers has approved the organisation’s strategy for the next three years (2022-2024), which is based on four main pillars, namely improving the business environment in Dubai, attracting foreign investments and international companies to the emirate, supporting member companies with global expansion and growing Dubai’s digital economy.

The priorities, listed under the newly-adopted strategy, were announced during the board’s first official meeting in 2022, which was hosted at Dubai Chambers’ headquarters and chaired by Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers.

The meeting was joined by Omar Sultan Al Olama, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai International Chamber, and board members Khalid Juma Al Majid; Dr. Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg; Buti Saeed Mohammad Al Ghandi; Patrick Chalhoub; Faisal Juma Kalfan Belhoul; Tariq Hussain Khansaheb; Dr. Amina Alrostamani; Helal Saeed Al Marri; and Gassan Al Kibsi; in the presence of Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber.

During the meeting, the board approved the organisation’s 2022 budget and established new committees that will be tasked with overseeing matters related to investment, auditing, risks, nominations and remunerations.

Board members discussed potential plans to be implemented under the new strategy, which are aligned with Dubai’s strategic vision and support plans announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to boost Dubai’s trade to AED 2 trillion in five years.

The Chairman and members of the board congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed on the 16th anniversary of his ascension to power, and expressed their gratitude for his wise leadership, which has put Dubai and the UAE on a stable path of prosperity and progress.

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Al Ghurair said that the adoption of the Chambers’ strategy for the next three years reflects the Chambers’ commitment to achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and expands the role of Dubai Chambers as the important organisation supporting the growth of Dubai’s economy. He described the strategy as a blueprint for a competitive economy with bolder ambitions that can adapt to future challenges.

He added, “Today we adopted an integrated strategy for the next phase that enhances the partnership of the public and private sectors, and reflects the new role that Dubai Chambers will play in shaping the future of Dubai’s economy and achieving the goals and vision of our wise leadership.”

He noted that ensuring a business-friendly regulatory environment and fostering public-private sector cooperation and partnerships, policy advocacy and raising standards of customer service will also remain top priorities for Dubai Chambers as works towards achieving its new ambitions.

Dubai Chambers was established under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as part of a recent government restructuring that aims to drive a comprehensive economic development in Dubai. The organisation operates under a three-chamber model comprises Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai International Chamber and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy.

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-Top News Dubai UAE News

Nanosatellites to support digitalisation of Dubai’s power, water networks

Space-D supports DEWA’s grid digitalisation programme by using IoT and remote sensing technologies…reports Asian Lite News

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has selected NanoAvionics to design, build, test, and manage the launching of two nanosatellites 3U and 6U. The services supplied by Nanoavionics also include operation, knowledge transfer and training.

Nanosatellites to support digitalisation of Dubai’s power, water networks

This is part of DEWA’s space-D programme that seeks to enhance operational efficiency and reliability, and promote preventive maintenance for the planning, generation, transmission and distribution of electricity and water networks. Space-D supports DEWA’s grid digitalisation programme by using IoT and remote sensing technologies.

Through this programme and the expertise of NanoAvionics, DEWA intends to enhance its flexibility and agility in monitoring and managing its electrical and water networks. With Space-D, DEWA expects to reduce costs, improve its asset utilisation and provide sustainable, efficient and reliable power and water services to its customers.

“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched DEWA’s space programme, Space-D. The programme aims to build DEWA’s capabilities and train Emirati professionals to use space technologies to enhance its electricity and water networks. The programme will take advantage of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain to exchange information with the help of satellite communications and earth observation technologies,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

In line with its digital transformation, DEWA will use a 3U satellite with an Internet of Things (IoT) payload as well as a 6U satellite with an Earth Observation (EO) payload from Nanoavionics. Using satellite network connectivity, IoT terminals, satellite imagery and applying AI to the captured data will bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to DEWA’s operations, maintenance and planning. The agreement with NanoAvionics also includes launch management, construction of the ground station, and an extensive training programme for Emirati professionals to facilitate know-how transfer and support in expanding DEWA’s future space capabilities.

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Vytenis J Buzas, co-founder and CEO of NanoAvionics, said, “This is a fantastic project for NanoAvionics to be involved in and a great example of how satellite technology improves our lives and helps us to become more sustainable. The knowledge transfer, in addition to satellite integration and mission operations for DEWA, also shows the capabilities and value that our expert team can bring to our customers. Our team has been part of more than 90 missions, including four successfully launched missions this year, and has previous experience in sharing its skills and knowledge through programmes with other international customers.”

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-Top News UAE News World

UAE, UK ink deal for cultural cooperation

The two countries will also work together to support youth and talented individuals in the cultural fields…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to reinforce cooperation in cultural fields related to tangible and intangible cultural heritage, literature, visual and performing arts, audio-visual media, design, cultural and creative industries.

The two countries will also work together to support youth and talented individuals in the cultural fields.

UAE, UK ink deal for cultural cooperation

The MoU underlines the importance of cultural dialogue and exchanges in strengthening the ties between the UAE and the UK, while also expanding on knowledge of each other’s civilisation, culture and arts.

The MoU was signed by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; and Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society of United Kingdom. The two ministers highlighted the importance of culture and its role in establishing social cohesion, promoting dialogue between communities and peoples, and building stronger human to human relations.

They explored means of fostering partnerships to advance the cultural and creative sector and keep pace with the current developments and tackle challenges. They also agreed on exchanging experiences in the field to make the cultural and creative industries a significant contributor to the national GDP. This would also lead to new opportunities for creative talents to work in the sector, which is currently one of the fastest growing sectors globally.

The ministers said that the UAE and Britain have very deep ties that stem from shared social and cultural values. The new agreement is built on a commitment to promoting the values of tolerance and coexistence, reflected in the creative cultural movements in the two countries.

The MoU aims to foster cooperation in the field of cultural heritage protection and the study of culture, languages, literature, arts and heritage in the two countries. It will also promote translation of published materials in both English and Arabic to give a boost to the publishing sector.

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The two countries also seek to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights in accordance with national legislation and international conventions; to host mutual cultural events and facilitate opportunities for public participation in cultural events; and prop up the cultural and creative industries affected by the pandemic.

The MoU enables the exchange of experiences to facilitate the implementation of international agreements, such as those signed with UNESCO and other agreements related to the cultural sector. It also calls on professionals, scholars, experts and researchers in the field of culture to draw on each others’ experiences in implementing international agreements, and benefit from international conventions.

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-Top News Dubai

Dubai’s DoF, Visa ink deal to drive digitisation

The signed MoU will pave the way for a collaboration to establish a long-term strategic partnership between DOF and Visa…reports Asian Lite News

The Government of Dubai’s Department of Finance (DoF) and Visa, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Signed in ceremony held during GITEX Technology Week at the Digital Dubai pavilion, the agreement will reinforce the collective objectives of both organisations to support the emirate of Dubai’s digital growth agenda.

Dubai

The MoU was signed by Jamal Hamed Al Marri, DOF’s Executive Director for Central Accounts Sector, and Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Group Country Manager for GCC, Visa. Officials from both sides attended the signing ceremony.

Under the terms of this MoU, Visa and DOF shall cooperate on digitisation of the Government of Dubai’s payments through a range of commercial products and partnerships, as well as extending support to Dubai Cashless initiative. Visa will also share data insight capabilities at emirate, country, regional and global levels in order to supplement existing data sources with the aim to support policymaking at sectoral and macro-economic level.

The signed MoU will pave the way for a collaboration to establish a long-term strategic partnership between DOF and Visa. The latter will extend its support to DOF in accelerating the digitisation of their customers’ journey through strong capabilities including Visa Tokenisation service, APIs and contactless technology, among other smart financial services. Visa will also help DOF in building modular, secured and integrated digital payment platform through a single integration to multiple acquirers, acceptance methods and DOF divisions, enabling the latest digital payments trends such as Network Tokens, 3D EMV, Pays, Intelligent fraud management.

ALSO READ: Dubai’s digital aspirations

“This partnership represents a strong testimony of DOF’s and Visa commitment towards serving the regional financial ecosystem and paving the way the growth of digital payments,” said Al Marri. “DOF is keen on the continuation of its digital transformation journey with partners like Visa, who are one of the global payments and technology companies.”

Dr. Jaffar expressed her pleasure on the MOU and commented, “The governments of the UAE and Dubai has always been very progressive and has recognised the importance of cashless payments and the benefits that come with it, whether it is in terms of fueling digital commerce growth or supporting economic growth. The Government of Dubai were making already steady progress towards becoming a cashless economy even before the pandemic. Digitising government payments is as important as it is to digitise the consumer environment. As a trusted engine of commerce, Visa is committed to supporting the ecosystem and we are very proud to be working even more closely with the Department of Finance in realising this important goal.”

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Dubai UAE News

Dubai’s digital aspirations

Committee members discussed tactics to action the clauses included in the Executive Council Resolution issued to form the new committee…reports Asian Lite News

The Dubai Digital Transformation Steering Committee has held its inaugural meeting to explore the emirate’s digital aspirations, chart a path for the period ahead, outline prospects for cooperation, set priorities, and rally efforts to implement Dubai’s digital transformation plans and strategies.

Committee members discussed tactics to action the clauses included in the Executive Council Resolution issued to form the new committee, which include, among other things, integrating roles between government entities which have as stake in the city’s digital transformation efforts, in addition to supporting the emirate’s vision to transition into a fully digital society.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, had launched the Committee in October of this year, marking another addition to Dubai’s quest for a digital future that embraces advanced technologies and builds on the emirate’s long track record of success to steer the digital transformation journey.

Chaired by Hamad Al Mansoori, Director-General of Digital Dubai, the meeting brought together a large roster of UAE government officials.

Al Mansoori thanked committee members and their respective entities for the high level of cooperation they demonstrated towards harmonising plans and strategies and aligning them with the general digital transformation strategy, which reflects the leadership’s vision to make Dubai a global digital capital.

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“This meeting is an important milestone on the path towards fulfilling our leadership’s aspirations for a fully digital life,” Al Mansoori added. “Today, we set our sights on the future and strive to shape it to fit our vision for our society and future generations, based on a track record of achievements that all entities represented in the Digital Transformation Steering Committee – along with various government partners – helped accomplish. I am confident in the Committee’s ability to achieve its objectives within the set timeline, empowered by the leadership’s support and relying on teamwork and government talent.”

“Dubai always exceeds all expectations with unprecedented achievements,” he continued. “The future belongs to those who plan for it. The Dubai Digital Transformation Steering Committee firmly believes in the inclusive and integrated nature of the efforts needed to shape a future founded on the breakthroughs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The seeds we are sowing today – our strategies, policies, and plans for citywide digital transformation – will undoubtedly bear fruit in the future, and Dubai will always be a global digital icon, inspiring its residents and visitors, and providing them with an exceptional living experience marked by security, progress, and prosperity.”