KUWAIT: Zain, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, took part in the annual ceremony and exhibition of HH Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Award held at Bayan Palace, during which the Shlonik app was recognized for winning the Informatics Award at the twentieth edition back in 2020. The event was held under the patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and attended by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the three partners behind the app: Zain Kuwait CEO Eaman Al-Roudhan, Director General of the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) Haya Al-Wadani, CAIT Deputy Director General for Information Technology Dr Amaar Al-Hussaini, and Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Affairs at the Ministry of Health Dr Buthaina Al-Mudhaf.
Zain expressed its pride in this high-level recognition. The company developed the app in 2020 in joint collaboration with the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), with support from Kuwaiti volunteers and government entities during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate home quarantines.
This prestigious award has had immense patronage from HH the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and continues to receive generous support from its founder HH Chief of the Kuwait National Guard Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah. The fact that ‘Shlonik’ has received this award reflects the fruitful unified efforts of Kuwait’s public and private sectors.
‘Shlonik’ was developed by Zain’s team in joint collaboration with the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) and under direct supervision from the Ministry of Health. The app’s development and launch came in a relatively short period of time that coincided with the beginning of the country’s evacuation plan to return thousands of Kuwaiti citizens back home at the beginning of the pandemic.
During April 2020, specifically during the beginning of the evacuation plan’s first phase, Zain developed ‘Shlonik’ (which translates to ‘how are you’ in the Kuwaiti dialect) app for smartphones to support the enormous efforts exerted by the authorities to tackle the pandemic. The app was designed with world-class standards in mind, with direct and continuous supervision from the Ministry of Health’s team.
‘Shlonik’ utilized the latest tech solutions to monitor the compliance of citizens who returned to Kuwait as part of the government’s evacuation plan in home quarantine instructions. The app was also an essential tool to pair with the smart wrist bracelet that was distributed at Kuwait International Airport to anyone who underwent home quarantine.
‘Shlonik’ can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, and Huawei’s App Gallery, and is available in five different languages: Arabic, English, Urdu, Tagalog, and Bengali. Users can sign up via their phone and civil ID numbers. The app features an interactive COVID-19 assessment agent to help each user know what to do next.
The Qualification Committee and Judging Panel of HH Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Award held various virtual sessions to study a total of 308 projects from Kuwait and the Arab World. The sessions have resulted in the nomination of 25 projects to the judging panel, which consisted of many specialists and experts from eight different Arab countries to select the winners. Nine tech projects won the award for their creativity and innovation.