KUWAIT: You've probably heard terms like 'Smart Government' being used a lot lately -but before we go further into this topic, it's worth spending a moment to better understand what the term means. Smart Government means using technology to enable and support better government planning and decision-making. It is designed to improve democratic processes and transform public service delivery. To be truly effective, this emerging governance method relies on consolidated information systems and state-of-the-art communication technologies. It is 'citizen-centric', data-driven and performance-focused.

Perhaps more broadly speaking, we see it as the use of innovative policies, new dynamic business models and technology to address all the financial, environmental, and service challenges facing public sector organizations.  At its heart, smart government relies on advanced technologies, excellent telecommunications facilities and a population savvy enough to take full advantage of e-services.

Of course, a forward-thinking nation such as Kuwait has a blueprint for its future society, which includes enabling digitalization, a key part of which is the delivery of e-government services under the umbrella of smart government. And central to smart government is a high-speed, reliable and robust telecommunications network. Together with local operators, we delivered high-speed 5G networks to Kuwait in 2019, as one of the earliest nations to adopt this technology in the region.

Faster connectivity helped deliver vital services during the pandemic, such as implementing distance learning solutions across Kuwait's education sector, ensuring compliance with the government's social distancing policy. This meant thousands of young people - the future of the nation - were able to continue with their education without risk.

We are already working with local operators to improve and upgrade the existing 5G network, making Kuwait a global benchmark for cutting-edge communications technology.  Official data shows that the Internet services provided by the three mobile operators witnessed a great development during 2021, especially in downloading and uploading via HTTP using 4G/5G networks.

While 5G enables faster connectivity, 5G delivered via fiber is widely viewed as the gold standard for networks, providing fast, stable connectivity for all. Our fiber network, built-in close cooperation with the Ministry of Communications, is seen as an essential infrastructure for enabling digital transformation. We are doing our utmost to help turn Kuwait Vision 2035 into reality - by delivering optical fiber to more than 50,000 households, enterprises, and government departments.

Since 2016, we have cooperated with government ministries and commissions to introduce automated tools and platforms within the Kuwait National Guard (KNG) to facilitate office automation. Now KNG is fully automated, saving time, effort and expenditure, including saving a total of five million sheets of paper and 70% storage space. Our automation services have increased office efficiency by 45% and guarantee the security at the same time. KNG stands as a prime example of the power of technology-based automation.

Digitalization strategies also rely on talent having the right knowledge and training to implement these exciting new technologies and practices. Huawei focuses on continuously cultivating local governments' talent and creating value. During the pandemic, we worked with the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) to deliver technology training to more than 500 government IT employees.

And we are proudly helping the government steer the nation towards a low-carbon future, together with investment in greener cloud-based technologies. Kuwait's forward-thinking 'cloud-first' policy means government departments must fully evaluate cloud services first, before considering other options when acquiring new information and communication technology or upgrading existing infrastructure and applications.

All of these signs of progress are building a solid digital foundation for smart government. We believe that smart government provides intelligent and precise responses and brings better social service to meet people's growing needs, which means a lot during Kuwait's future digital journey. We will maintain our long-term investment in Kuwait, and apply our world-leading experience and technologies to Kuwait, such as green energy, AI, and cloud-based service provision, to continue our assistance in implementing the country's New Kuwait 2035 vision.