UAE, 9 December 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) unveiled the 2020 results of the Global Knowledge Index (GKI) during the press conference that took place in Dubai and streamed globally.
Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Egypt participated in the launching of the Global Knowledge Index 2020 and praised the efforts made over more than a decade by the United Nations Development Program and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, adding that “Egypt was one of the first countries to support the Knowledge Project by hosting various activities and actively participating, whether through policy-makers or youth. There is continuous cooperation with the Knowledge Project, where the strengths and weaknesses of Egypt's performance in the GKI are explored along with solutions to address the challenges.”
“Over the past years, the Global Knowledge Index has formed an effective tool for countries to measure knowledge as a broad concept that intricately relates to all aspects of modern human life,” said Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, stressing on the “decisive role played by knowledge, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the knowledge economy that generates livelihoods during turbulent times.”
“It took a lot of determination to be able to release the 2020 edition of the Global Knowledge Index in these exceptionally difficult times,” said Dr. Mourad Wahba, UNDP Associate Administrator, adding that “that it is precisely in such times that policymakers worldwide need a strong knowledge base to guide their efforts to address emerging development risks and opportunities in such an evolving global context.”
In his turn, Khaled Abdel Shafi, Deputy Director ad interim and Regional Hub Manager at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States added, “Arab countries should work on the seven sectors forming the Global Knowledge Index and invest more in the research, development and innovation sector, as well as work on linking technology to development and increase interest in skills, especially future skills, as the GKI provides a tool to facilitate decision-making by policymakers in these sectors.”
“The Index employs a participatory approach implemented by a multidisciplinary core team and advisory board. It covers 138 countries using 199 indicators, where 96 of them are original from international sources and 103 developed by experts,” explained Dr. Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor of the UNDP Knowledge Project, in his presentation of the 2020 results, adding “The GKI is unique in that it takes into consideration factors and sectors that are often not fully-considered in similar attempts – such as the technical and vocational education and training sector, the relation between research and development and innovation, and the interaction between sectors.”
Switzerland, United States, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands have topped the list, and the United Arab Emirates ranked second globally on the economy level
Under the umbrella of the partnership between UNDP and MBRF and within the Knowledge Project, the 2020 edition of the Global Knowledge Index (GKI) was released, expanding its coverage this year to 138 countries aiming to alert policymakers on opportunities and risks across multiple disciplines. The Global Knowledge Index inspires countries to formulate forward-thinking strategies to support knowledge and promote it as a main component in establishing a strong knowledge economy.
According to the results of the GKI 2020, Switzerland retained its number-one rank for the fourth year, followed by the United States and Finland. Sweden and Netherlands broke into the world’s top five countries ranking fourth and fifth respectively. The United Arab Emirates retained its position in the world’s top 20 countries, advancing three positions, ranking 15 on the global level and first among all the Arab states, while retaining its second place globally on the level of the economy for the fourth year.
The results of the Global Knowledge Index 2020 show that countries all over the globe need to invest more in research, development, and innovation, where the global average is the lowest among the sectors forming the Index. The Index recognizes the multidimensional nature of knowledge systems in all contexts and applications relating to economic and social structures. It measures knowledge on the level of seven sectors i.e. pre-university education; technical and vocational education and training; higher education; research, development and innovation; information and communications technology; economy; and general enabling environment.
The United Nations Development Programme and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation were determined to release this edition of the Global Knowledge Index in difficult and exceptional times, continuing their pledge to harness the power of knowledge and to contribute to achieving sustainable development in the Arab region and beyond.
Watch the press conference