“There are a lot of plans underway to continue to diversify our economy. From the higher education perspective, we have made it clear that Omanis need to be independent learners, and ICT will play a key role in their doing so,” he said.
“Having graduates who are specialised in certain areas is simply outdated thinking. Graduates should be capable of expanding their education and learning new subjects in order to adapt to future challenges in an ever globalising economy.”
H E Dr Sarmi was speaking to the media about the upcoming MENA Innovation Forum 2019, which will take place in Muscat from September 15-17. The official opening of the forum will be held under the patronage of H H Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat on September 16.
“Under one roof we will have participants from around the globe. There will be 15 regional ministers representing MENA, young innovators from Oman and MENA, over 100 students from 35 academic institutions from Oman and abroad, global non-governmental organisations, financiers, 70 cross-sector enterprise solution providers from 45 countries around the world, key stakeholders truly from and beyond the region,” H E Dr Sarmi said.
He said that Oman is experiencing a profound renaissance, in no small part due to the longstanding commitment and collaboration of the governmental entities who have invested wisely in Oman’s present capacities and future potential.
“The sultanate made a commitment in Oman’s Vision 2040 to expand beyond what would be a traditional and thusly cyclical commodity-driven marketplace. To go beyond limits, if you will, galvanising the collective resources of our people and those abroad is necessary to propel the sultanate towards a sustainable, knowledge-based and innovation-driven socio-economy. As seen in His Majesty the Sultan’s speeches from the 1970s onward, we have always emphasised human resources as a cornerstone for the development of our country,” he said.
As knowledge-driven youth demographic is a necessity to translate to entrepreneurial success, H E Dr Sarmi said, “It will be through instilling a culture of scientific innovation in students as well as furnishing them with Fourth Industrial Revolution-inspired skillsets that will prepare them to cope with the technological developments in the current global marketplace and moreover, fuel a start-up culture made up of small to medium sized enterprises anew.”
The forum will also host ICT innovation-driven technologies presentations from five Omani young innovators and five MENA region young innovators.