MBRF and UNDP announces results of Global Knowledge Index 2023

  • 23 Nov 2023

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, November 23, 2023 - The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced the results of the ‘Global Knowledge Index 2023’ (GKI 2023).

The results were announced during a panel discussion titled ‘Building knowledge cities together: UNDP and MBRF partnership for the 5th industrial revolution,’ held as part of the activities of the Knowledge Summit, which is being organized at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) between November 21 and 22, with virtual session continuing on November 23, 2023. The panel discussion, which was held at the Sheikh Rashid Hall at the DWTC on November 22, 2023, witnessed the participation of His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the MBRF; Khaled Abdel Shafi, Director of the Regional Hub for Arab States, UNDP; and Dr. Hany Torky, Chief Technical Adviser and Project Manager, Knowledge Project, UNDP. This session was moderated by Naoufar Ramoul, a TV presenter at Dubai Media Incorporated.

The panel discussion covered several key topics, including the role of both institutions in promoting knowledge cities and knowledge economies, the key findings and insights from the GKI, and best practices and innovative solutions for building sustainable and equitable knowledge cities. Additionally, it also discussed the future of the robust partnership between the UNDP and the MBRF as well as its impact on the development of knowledge cities in the 5th Industrial Revolution.

The GKI highlights the strengths and weaknesses in the performance of countries across various indicators, with a particular focus on the close relationship between knowledge and development. It is the only index that assesses the extent of interaction with knowledge at the national level, serving as a key source for global developmental data. By providing comprehensive and reliable data, the GKI enables countries and decision-makers to understand current transformations and future challenges, facilitating the formulation of a comprehensive vision and the identification of growth paths.

Since its launch in 2017, the GKI has operated based on a consistent framework. It relies on measuring the performance rates of seven impactful sectors in the production, dissemination, and application of knowledge. These sectors include pre-university education, higher education, technical and vocational education, scientific research and innovation, economic development, and information and communication technology, in addition to the supportive environments that contribute to the knowledge climate.

His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the MBRF, said, “We live in a rapidly changing world where global crises such as climate change, economic uncertainty, poverty, and conflicts pose a serious threat to our collective existence. To confront these challenges, we need to invest in knowledge, as the fundamental driver of sustainable development and comprehensive prosperity. The role of the GKI thus becomes prominent in light of this, showing us the progress we have made in this field, allowing us to improve our performance, learn from others’ experiences, and solidify the foundations of the knowledge economy.”

He added, “Knowledge-based economies rely on innovation, skill development, and harnessing human capital, creating new job opportunities and promoting sustainability. Societies that succeed in employing creative minds and knowledge are the only ones capable of adapting to rapid changes, achieving economic growth, and attaining the desired progress.”

He emphasized that Dubai serves as a leading model for a knowledge city worldwide. He stated, “Thanks to the vision of our wise leadership, represented by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Emirate of Dubai is actively working towards the development and enhancement of knowledge and research to build a sustainable future, in line with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Khaled Abdel Shafi underlined the importance of knowledge cities with advanced infrastructure and technology, urging countries to foster innovation, increase investments, and create a supportive environment.

For his part, Dr. Hani Torky highlighted the need for investing in youth, developing their skills, and providing opportunities and resources to enhance their capabilities for contributing to societal development. The speaker stressed the importance of youth involvement in decision-making, stating that they are the primary stakeholders in development and should actively identify their needs and priorities.

The results of GKI 2023 showed that Switzerland topping the list of 133 countries in the report, in terms of performance in knowledge areas, surpassing the United States, which held the first position last year. Finland came in second place, followed by Sweden and the Netherlands. In the Arab world, the United Arab Emirates maintained its leading position among the Arab countries in the GKI, ranking 26th globally. This reflects the exceptional efforts made under the guidance of its wise leadership to promote, disseminate, and exchange knowledge, as well as build a knowledge-based economy. Qatar ranked second in the Arab world, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The GKI 2023 offers a comprehensive analysis of global knowledge trends amid economic uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to highlighting the long-term effects on various aspects of life. The index assesses pandemic weaknesses and suggests recovery paths, emphasizing technology, learning, and innovation’s role in societal reshaping and leveraging knowledge infrastructure for job creation and sustainable development.