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The mission of the MEKEI research institute is to use research and education to help transform the countries of the Middle East and North Africa to advanced, knowledge-based societies led by sustainable innovation and social advance.

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2017 Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Digital revolution, smart cities and performance improvement towards a sustainable knowledge-based inclusive development

Date: 16-18 May 2017
Venue: Sheraton Hotel, Kingdom of Bahrain

With the acceleration of the digital revolution, there lies the potential to utilise this to supplement sustainable development goals endeavours. Central to the forum were the challenges faced by countries within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The rapid urbanisation within the region were found to be leaning towards the development of smart cities, clearly exhibiting the governments’—particularly that of Saudi Arabia’s—recognition and consideration of the importance of the role of technology and the youth in their states’ future. Downward trends in oil prices have posed a serious barrier to this development, thus solutions to securing the economy and income in oil and gas export dependent states were also explored. The urgency of income and wealth inequalities was also revisited, which called for further radical reform in regulation and policy to better address the welfare, and macro- and micro-level challenges that have arose.

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