Suleiman J. Al-Herbish
Director General, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
In the pursuit of progress, it is necessary that the knowledge we generate is captured, stored, and disseminated for future generations to benefit. Moving into the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, the international community has recognized the importance of sharing and building on knowledge to drive development forward. The advent of the Internet and advanced technologies has made this process much easier. Recognizing the importance of having readily available and up-to-date sources of knowledge, OFID has pioneered efforts to fill the gaps in knowledge about development, particularly in the Arab world. In cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme, OFID launched the Arab Development Portal in early 2016. The portal is an initiative of OFID in partnership with the Arab Coordination Group and the Islamic Development Bank. It allows access to a comprehensive open online databank, covering a wide range of development topics relevant to the region. Through the exchange and sharing of information, the portal serves as a knowledge highway that allows inputs and exchanges between a variety of sources, including the public sector, academia, businesses and NGOs. The portal brings us one step closer to advancing knowledge cities and centres around the Arab world.