As the Beirut 10th annual ArabNet conference took place on Wednesday, Prime Minister Saad Hariri made a special appearance to speak about the role of the government in making a move towards a more digitalized Lebanon.
ArabNet is an effort in the Middle-East and North-Africa (MINA) region that leads “events, insights, and innovation programs focused on tech business and innovation,” according to its website.
This year, the conference in Beirut focused on government efforts in creating a roadmap to improve Lebanon’s digital industries and their ease of access, as well as to enable new innovators to create in the Lebanese digital climate.
“I am here because I would like to show my support to an ecosystem that is fast growing in Lebanon,” Prime Minister Hariri said in his opening speech at the event. “…It is a priority for myself and for my government to do all that is in our power to support and further enable the digital economy ecosystem,” he continued.
Prime Minister Hariri also mentioned in his speech that he would like to keep the digital talent in Lebanon “homegrown” and to nurture its development “hand in hand with an enabling environment” which the government has a “key role in providing.”
Also present at the conference were MPs Raya El Hassan, May Chidiac, and Riad Salameh, among many others.
Through government efforts, a plan has been put in place to enact new regulations that would allow for a more streamlined digital infrastructure, as well as ways to bring technology from the Lebanese diaspora back into Lebanon.
Efforts were also discussed on how to bring Lebanese digital banking to the forefront, such as Bank Audi’s new “My Novo” service, which allows for a number of banking services to take place completely online, seven days a week.
With plans in place, time will tell how and when Lebanon will digitalize its economy and have greater platforms for digital innovators. We hope for the best!