Qatar's ICT (information and communication technology) market is expected to grow 10 percent annually and reach QR24.7bn by 2016, the Minister of Information and Communications Technology H E Dr Hessa Sultan Al Jaber told the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva.
"Driven by Qatar's National ICT Plan 2015 and Qatar National Vision 2030, today Qatar ranks 23rd among 148 countries in the 2014 World Economic Forum's Networked Readiness Index and fourth in the world in government usage of ICT in that same report," she said.
The Minister delivered a policy statement about Qatar's efforts towards becoming an information society. "Qatar's leadership focused on the ICT sector as essential to transforming the state into an information society, fuelling social and economic good.
"We opened up the telecommunications market and made the decision to invest heavily in building and securing a world-class infrastructure with the capacity and speeds to set Qatar apart in the region and around the world," she said.
A high-level meeting opened to review progress on outcomes of the previous WSIS sessions in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. Policymakers, including government ministers and leaders from civil society, academia, business and international organizations, will focus on implementation of the outcomes of the summit for next year's 10-year review during the WSIS+10 that began on Wednesday.
"World leaders at the summit in 2003 agreed to promote the use of ICT for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals and targets.
"Today, almost everyone on earth lives within reach of a mobile cellular network and nearly 3bn people are online; we must now ensure that everyone also has access to broadband connectivity. We are here to pave the way for the future and set the road map for sustainable development in the post-2015 era," said Hamadoun I Touré, ITU Secretary-General.