By Sherouk Zakaria for Khaleej Times
The UAE received the highest scores in the second Arab Knowledge Index, a joint initiative between the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The updated index, initially launched during last year's Knowledge Summit, monitors the status of knowledge in 22 Arab countries to help decision makers, experts and researchers use the information to implement development policies to improve the gaps.
According to the index, the UAE was at the top in most of the six main indices used to measure Arab countries - higher education, economy, technical vocational education and training, pre-university education, information and communication technology (ICT), and research innovation.
The UAE scored 83 per cent in the economy index, 86 per cent in ICT, 61 per cent in higher education, 74 in pre-university education, 72 per cent in technical vocational educational and training (TVET), and 69 in research and development (RDI).
The results of the updated index recorded an increase in almost all indices, like the economy index, compared to 77.59 per cent last year. The ICT index was 77.47 per cent last year and R&D at 50.08 per cent. However, higher education showed a decrease from 72.55 per cent last year to 61 per cent this year.
Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor at UNDP, said new areas were added to the report to study certain factors more accurately.
"For example, we wanted to study the impact of the demographic situation on the quality technical education, especially in countries like Egypt and Algeria where a notable increase in population was witnessed," said Torky.
He added that the UAE was also the first worldwide for government efficiency in using ICT and the country's use of IT in the government's future vision.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia were among the Gulf countries that also scored well, compared to last year.
Countries with the lowest scores included Somalia, Syria, Comoros, Libya and Mauritania.