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Bahrain and WEF to trial new AI procurement guidelines

Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB

The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) have announced that Bahrain is all set to pilot its new guidelines for the procurement of AI in the public sector, produced by WEF for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the EDB said: “When it comes to the governance and regulation of emerging technologies, Bahrain has earned a reputation as the Middle East’s testbed thanks to its innovative regulatory framework, strong technology ecosystem and rapid shift to eGovernment. AI can deliver huge benefits to citizens, but it needs a robust framework for successful implementation, and this project with WEF will build a global knowledge-base that can be used by other governments to sustainably and responsibly introduce AI across their public sector institutions.”

Bahrain, in 2017, launched its first regulatory sandbox which aims to allow fintechs to test new technology products and it launched the Bahrain Fintech Bay in 2018, with an aim to create a prominent Middle Eastern fintech hub. It mandated open banking last month through the Central Bank of Bahrain’s crypto-asset rules.

Murat Sonmez, Head of the Centre and Managing Board member said: “Last year at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, we announced that the Forum and the UK government would build the world’s first AI procurement policy. Bahrain’s decision to pilot the framework demonstrates the Centre Network’s unique ability to accelerate and scale innovative ways to govern emerging technology. We are looking forward to rolling the framework out to more partners around the world.”

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