The ceremony to honor winners of the 15th Round of His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Award kicked off on Monday, under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at Bayan Palace. The event was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, top Sheikhs and Microsoft founder and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chairman William Henry Gates.
The ceremony was commenced by a presentation video on prominent stages of the previous sessions of the award, followed by a speech performed by Chairperson of the award's Board of Trustees Sheikha Aida Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah. This edition of the award is focusing on the role of youth in developing the country, mainly in the field of knowledge economy, said Sheikha Aida in her speech.
On his part, deputy chairman of the award's Supreme Committee Bassam Al-Shamari said that the award also focused on the humanitarian field, as in September 2015, the award launched the "Humanitarian Kuwait" application, in celebration of the anniversary of the UN's honoring of His Highness the Amir as a Humanitarian Leader.
The application includes information on Kuwait's humanitarian efforts, Kuwaiti philanthropists, humanitarian organizations, information on humanitarian projects around the world, a section to receive donations and recent news on humanitarian works, he explained.
Meanwhile, member of the Supreme Committee Abdullah Al-Shihab said that social media is affecting societies prominently nowadays. He added that there are currently two billion users around the world, while there are over 200 million users in the Arab World.
In the Arab World, Facebook has the highest record of 87 percent, followed by Twitter at 53 percent, Youtube at 39 percent and Instagram at 34 percent, he noted. Due to the important role of social media, the award conducted a study on the top Arab user of social media as part of its project on observing the percentage of using websites and application in the Arab World launched last year, said Al-Shihab. After the officials' speeches, His Highness the Amir decorated Bill Gates with the "Informatics Medal", while also honoring winners of different sections of the award, including the best NGOs and governmental bodies' website.