Ex-ITU chief hails Oman for innovation

By Lakshmi Kothaneth — MUSCAT: Dec 7: “Oman has a unique style. One notices it immediately when one arrives in Muscat,” says Dr Hamdoun Toure, who received the Sultan Qaboos Order for Science, Culture and Arts from HH Sayyid Haitham bin Tareq al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture. “The country has preserved the Arabic architecture and the Arab way of life while the nation continues to develop. A nation can lose its identity when it develops, but Oman has been very elegant in keeping its character,” described Dr Toure.
Dr Toure, former Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), said: “I can see the progress and advancement of ICT in the country. The nation is awarding innovation. When I think of Oman, I think of innovation.”
Dr Toure said Oman is one of ITU’s seven regional cyber security centres in the world that has established itself as an integral part of security in the Arab region.
Oman is ranked third in the world for cyber security.
“To establish cyber security centre, a nation has to believe in the power of ICT. You have to believe in the need for protecting it and it naturally comes with connectivity because if you do not have it, it is not worth it.  You need to build the confidence and trust in the use of ICT,” said Dr Toure.
The Executive Director of Smart Africa is also the founder of the Global Cyber Security Agenda. When asked about the current status of cyber security, Dr Toure said, “Security is constantly evolving. We need to constantly build awareness for all users, we need the governments to play their role, we need to put the right regulatory framework in place and we also need to make sure people are educated in the field.
He said Oman has placed itself at the centre stage of international cooperation in this arena and is at the ‘point of no return’ and that the structure of Oman CERT and the capacity building are examples of it.