$235bn needed to digitise Samena region - study

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A new study has revealed that the Samena region needs an investment of US$235bn in the next seven years in order to harness the benefits of digitisation.

The Samena region, comprising South Asia, Middle East and North Aftica, was the focus of the study by the Samena Council in collaboration with Booz & Company, which concluded that the benefits of this investment would be shared by players within the information and communication technology (ICT) sectors, as well as by governments.

The objective of the study was to understand the current state of digitisation in the region, the benefits of promptly executing national digitisation plans, and the ICT policy frameworks required to capture those benefits.

Revealing the findings of the study at the Samena Council’s Beyond Connectivity 2013 conference in Dubai, group CEO of Batelco and chairman of the board of directors of the Samena Council, Sheikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, claimed new digital agendas need to be put in place to create a more viable environment for digital services.

He said: “It is critical for us to collectively work toward ensuring our future ICT policies are created and harmonised on the pillars of knowledge, collaboration, commonality in developmental goals, and the passion to achieve human success.

“We need to develop and sustain processes for accelerating digitisation in our economies, to guarantee social and economic progress throughout South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.”

CEO of the Samena Council, Bocar Ba, added: “The Samena Council’s study has shown that digitisation will drive substantial investment initiatives throughout the region’s expanding ICT ecosystem.

“Digitisation is the future and a proven path to developing digital economies. If existing ICT policies are refined or new ones created with modern digital needs in perspective, the resulting accelerated rate of adoption of digital services will bring about substantial socio-economic benefit through the 25 markets that we have assessed in this study.”

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