Held under the patronage of His Excellency Tahar Hadjar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the conference was attended by more than hundred experts working on knowledge economy in Algeria and representing a variety of sectors such pharmaceutical, ICT, and higher education. The AKI, which was launched for the first time in Dubai in December 2015, is an index that measures and evaluates the state of knowledge and knowledge creation in the Arab world. It focuses on six pillars, such as research and development, innovation, ICT, higher education and post-secondary education. The purpose of these indicators is to provide and inform decision makers on how to create, develop, and sustain an environment that fosters knowledge creation and knowledge development. The Algiers conference was the second conference in a series of conferences, seminars and workshop planned by the MBRF and UNDP to inform decision makers in Arab countries about the state of knowledge economy and inform stakeholders in different economic sectors such as ICT, banking, pharmaceutical and higher education about the necessity to reflect on a strategy that helps Arab economies become more efficient in knowledge sectors.
In his introduction of the AKI project, Dr. Hany Torky, emphasized the need for decision makers in Arab countries to focus on the solutions that would allow Arab economies to create an environment that helps Arab economies prosper and develop. He suggested that the AKI is an important indicator because it identifies the strengths and the weaknesses of knowledge production in the Arab world, and therefore, could serve as an important benchmark for knowledge economy. Dr. Sid Ahmed Benraouane, who led the panel discussion on the state of knowledge economy in Algeria, said that the importance of the AKI is that it provides, for the first time, a reference on the shortcoming and the improvement that decision makers have to pay attention to, to help the Algerian economy adjust its outputs to that of the global economy in terms of human capital development, technology and innovation. He noted that, while Algeria has performed well on the level of investments on human capital, the new rhythm of knowledge production, imposed by the pace of the global economy, will require more of decision makers in term of creating the necessary infrastructure needed to adjust Algerian economy to global outputs.