17 August 2021
Revenues from eServices across channels exceeded BD200 million during the first half of 2021, soaring by 257% compared to the same period last year, the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) revealed. The results, announced in an H1 2021 report, reflect the role that eServices play in matching the demands of individuals, government entities, and business owners, particularly during the pandemic, and their steady progress towards achieving the Kingdom’s digital transformation aspirations. The number of financial transactions carried out through e different electronic Channels in the first half of this year exceeded 1.6 million, double the number recorded during the same period last year, indicating a high level of trust in the quality of services provided. Advanced technologies deployed in carrying out these tasks have contributed to enhancing the quality of government performance. iGA Acting Chief Executive, Dr. Zakareya Ahmed AlKhajah said that digital transformation and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initiatives are given the highest priority by the Kingdom’s senior leadership, noting that the Supreme Committee for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT), chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, continuously issues directives in this regard. He also highlighted the directives and support of the Minister of Interior, H.E. Lt- Gen. Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa to develop and continue offering eServices to the public despite the circumstances imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. AlKhajah said that the iGA is continuing its efforts towards the complete digitization of government offerings, creating more transparency, and offering the highest quality of online services. He praised the cooperation of other government entities, which resulted in accelerating the digitization process. He thanked the ICT team members at public and private organizations, who displayed a high degree of professionalism and adaptability to new technologies. The report revealed other significant results during H1 2021, including that more than 1.1 million financial transactions were carried out via the National Portal, bahrain.bh, an increase of 76% compared to the same period of last year. eServices amount generated through the Portal were approximately BD188 million, more than double compared to H1 2020. The top ePayment services used via the Portal were (Electricity Deposit Payment Service) and (Pay Coronavirus -Covid-19 Test Fees), (MOJ Unified Payment), (Private Notary), and (Passport Renewals). The most used services included (Employment Application for the Civil Service Bureau), (Issuing Copies of Student Certificates) and (Student Exam Results). The report also showed an increase in transactions carried out via smart device apps, which exceeded 390,000, a 92% spike compared to H1 2020. The amounts generated from these apps was over BD20 million, a 145% increase. BeAware Bahrain was the most frequently used app, highlighting its importance in providing information to users during the pandemic, including the latest updates regarding precautions to be taken in public, as well as its usefulness in conducting transactions such as COVID-19 PCR test fee payments. Also among the most used apps was Sehati, which offers a service for booking appointments at health centers; Islamiyat, due to its popular Fa’el Khair donation collection service; and the National Suggestions and Complaints App, Tawasul.
19 July 2021
National Committee for Geospatial Information Governance Discusses Government Initiatives at 3rd Meeting
The National Committee for Geospatial Information Governance (NCGIG) held its 3rd meeting, chaired by Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, where it discussed its latest developments and government initiatives. In attendance were National Space Science Agency (NSSA) CEO, Dr. Mohamed Ebrahim Al-Aseeri; Ministry of Housing Assistant Undersecretary for Housing Policies and Services, Dr. Khalid Abdulrahman Al-Hidan; Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning Assistant Under Secretary for Resources and Information, Mohammed Adel Bu Hassan; iGA Governance and Enterprise Architecture Director, Dr. Khalid Ahmed Al Mutawa; and Cabinet Affairs Program Follow-up Consultant, Nader Jalal Al-Awadhi. Al Qaed welcomed the members and Mr. Nader Al Awadhi for attending the meeting and thanked them for their efforts. The committee discussed a number of items including progress made in projects submitted by the members. Dr. Mohamed Al-Aseeri delivered a brief on the most notable NSSA projects relating to space science and satellites, praising the advanced level that the Agency has reached in achieving them, which helps turn the Kingdom into one of the countries competing to lead the field. The NSSA representative presented an initiative for feeding agricultural data into national geographic information, and the necessity of deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support the agricultural sector. The committee reviewed the progress made by a Survey and Land Registration Bureau (SLRB) team in charge of the National Aerial Photography Program, and discussed the development of a network to monitor national sites that are used in construction and engineering works. The iGA presented an initiative to develop unified standards for architecture drawings. These standards aim to lower the cost of the inclusion and conversion of architecture drawings, as well as improve their accuracy and ease of use with drawings files. Also discussed was an initiative for governing the sharing of geospatial information in the National Geographic Information Base. The committee also covered the progress of unifying spatial street segments and the use of experimental openings, issuing a directive to implement the recommendations of the project’s technical teams.
13 July 2021
Strategic procurement requests valued at approximately BD798,000 were discussed at the 46th Information and Communication Technology Governance Committee (ICTGC) meeting, chaired by Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed. The virtual meeting discussed a number of projects such as the implementation of wireless network infrastructure at Ministry of Education schools, which is the third phase of a wider wireless network plan for schools, and supplying network systems and local network applications to new buildings at some schools, including the ones scheduled to reopen in the upcoming school year. Both projects are part of a digital empowerment in education initiative, which aims to train students, teachers, and employees on how to utilize Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in their work, encouraging the creation of digital education content, innovation, and creativity. The committee discussed procurement, maintenance, and support projects for essential government systems at a number of other ministries and entities, and reviewed implemented decisions from previous meetings. Al Qaed praised the efforts of outgoing committee member, Ebrahim Abul, who represented the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, wishing him the best in his future endeavors. The committee members congratulated Nawal Al Khater on her appointment as Undersecretary for Policies, Strategies, and Performance at the Ministry of Education. Other government representatives on the ICTGC include iGA Deputy CE of Electronic Transformation, Dr. Zakareya Ahmed AlKhajah; Deputy Prime Minister’s Office Committee Affairs Coordinator, Dr. Aref AbdulRahman Abdulkarim; Ministry of Health Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health, Dr. Mariam Ebrahim Al-Hajeri; iGA Director of Governance and Enterprise Architecture, Dr. Khalid Almutawah; Office of the Prime Minister representative, Ali Jassim Humood; and Information Technology Project Management Consultant, Ali AlSoufi. Al Qaed concluded the meeting by thanking the committee members for their continuous support in coordinating between government entities, affirming the committee’s important role in developing the IT sector and improving government services for citizens and residents.
10 July 2021
• New portal implements user feedback • Soft Launch (Beta version) is part of Phase One; gradual revamp to continue in phases until early 2022 • Revamped portal will facilitate user access to information and eServices, enhanced overall capacity & speed Phase One of the National Portal revamp has been launched, Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed announced. The new and improved version of the Kingdom’s National Portal bahrain.bh is among the initiatives put forward by the Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology (SCICT) to the Coordinating Committee, which approved it. Its scope includes enhancements to the Portal’s content to improve user experience, update its infrastructure, offer personalized services, and encourage eParticipation. Al Qaed stated that the Beta version implements feedback collected through the iGA’s annual customer satisfaction report, a survey conducted between 30th December 2020 and 15th February 2021, and suggestions received by the iGA previously through different platforms. He said that the Portal’s design, services, and features will be gradually developed over several phases until early next year, and that it closely follows United Nations (UN) eGovernment standards. Notable features include easier access to information and eServices; management of users’ profiles containing personal data as recorded by government; enhanced user experience over smartphones; and increased capacity to enhance user experience and navigation. Al Qaed stated that since the portal’s launch in 2007 under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister and SCICT Chairman, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the iGA has dedicated significant resources and capabilities towards creating and developing bahrain.bh. It made major progress in developing the Portal under the supervision of the Minister of Interior, Gen. Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, adding information for more than 1,000 government eServices and 500 other eServices, and connecting over 40 government entities digitally. With a plan to double the current content, the Authority will need to carry out the revamp gradually over phases to manage this massive amount of data, and to give it the time needed to create a comprehensive website and migrate eServices onto it to ensure their accessibility to the public. With the completion of Phase One the journey continues with more improvements. The next phase will include an improvement in the unified eservice payment platform, the ability for users to customize their experience by creating a list of their favorite eServices, and gradual migration of eServices to the revamped system. Al Qaed invited the public and private sectors, civil society organizations, and citizens and residents to visit bahrain.bh to experience the Beta version and join the iGA on its journey to improve the National Portal via the feedback page noted in the link on top of the portal and also via the National Suggestions and Complaints System, ‘Tawasul’, or by participating in focus groups and discussions which will be announcing soon. He assured the public that all collected feedback will be studied and those that are deemed feasible will be implemented.
30 June 2021
Site tracks Kingdom’s progress in achieving SDGs The Kingdom of Bahrain launched its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 portal , the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) announced. The site, hosted at www.sdgs.gov.bh , documents and tracks the Kingdom’s progress in achieving the SDGs, which were launched by the United Nations (UN) in 2000. Bahrain adopted them, ensuring their compatibility with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030 and its development programs. The Kingdom presented its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) achievements at the UN General Assembly in September 2015. The Higher Committee for Information and Communication Technology, chaired by HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister, approved the launch of this national portal, which will highlight the Kingdom’s efforts, enabling all government, private, and civil society organizations to showcase their achievements in line with the SDG’s . It will also include a host of SDG-related content, such as sustainable development indices; initiatives, programs, and projects adopted by the Kingdom; national policies; decisions and legislation; local and global reports; government awards; and news and articles. iGA Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed expressed his appreciation to the Minister of Interior, General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa for his support for this national project in all its stages. He also thanked all the teams and entities that helped launch the site for their support in populating its content with data that reflects the Kingdom’s SDG-related initiatives. Al Qaed said that the website will achieve a number of objectives, including sharing the Kingdom’s SDGs initiatives on one unified digital portal, tracking all related indices, and providing a reference for international personalities and organisations. It will also familiarise the private sector and other stakeholders with the SDGs, in turn encouraging them to contribute towards achieving them and showcasing their achievements. He invited all governmental, private, and civil society organisations, as well as specialists and anyone else interested in working with the Information & eGovernment Authority , to contribute to the project’s success, in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision. They can help by documenting their various achievements on the site, helping to create a comprehensive national portal of data and statistics, and a reliable reference that enhances the Kingdom’s global standing. In line with iGA’s commitment to maintaining an up-to-date database, the site includes dedicated sections for SDGs achievements and steps taken by the public and private sectors, civil society, and individuals.
22 June 2021
Bahrain’s Pandemic Response and Cloud-First Policy Highlighted at 23rd GCC e-Government Executive Committee Meeting
Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed chaired the 23rd GCC e-Government Executive Committee Meeting, held via videoconference. Senior executives, and director generals of other GCC e-governments attended the meeting, where the Kingdom’s Cloud-First policy and its success in combating the coronavirus pandemic were highlighted. Al Qaed welcomed the attendees and conveyed to them the greetings of the Minister of Interior and his best wishes for the committee’s success and for further cooperation between the GCC countries. He congratulated Saudi Arabia’s Digital Government Authority Governor, Ahmed Alsuwaiyan and Oman’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Ali bin Amer Al-Shaidani on their appointments, wishing them the best and thanking the outgoing members for their efforts which have had a lasting impact on achieving the objectives of the committee. Al Qaed praised the role that advanced technologies have had in supporting GCC governments in combating the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He said that GCC governments’ commitment to adopting modern technologies have allowed life to continue despite the pandemic, in addition to accelerating the pace of digital transformation in all sectors. This resulted in the launch of several high-quality eServices, while also strengthening cooperation between member states and allowing for further exchange of experience. The committee discussed several items, including a report by the General Secretariat; previously implemented decisions; latest developments concerning the GCC ePortal project; the Kingdom of Bahrain’s submitted model for measuring e-government guiding strategy implementation; a periodic report on e-governance accomplishments including the provision of eServices via multiple channels; improving the quality of Arabic content available on the internet, and other initiatives presented by member states. The Kingdom of Bahrain’s success stories in cloud computing and combatting the pandemic were also highlighted. iGA Deputy CE of Electronic Transformation, Dr. Zakareya Ahmed AlKhajah showcased the iGA’s role in supporting national efforts through promotion of social distancing, accelerating the pace of digital transformation of government services, and developing the BeAware Bahrain app. iGA Governance and Enterprise Architecture Director, Dr. Khalid Ahmed Al Mutawa gave a presentation on cloud computing challenges and solutions, as well as the phases for its implementation in Bahrain, while also sharing notable results and future projects. The meeting discussed an initiative for preparing and implementing a joint communications plan among e-governments as part of the e-governance guiding strategy. They also reviewed the minutes of meetings by other teams, such as the Committee of National Centers for Computer Emergency Response, whose recommendations they then implemented; the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) task force; and the Unified Procurement of Software and Hardware task force. The committee also discussed a proposal to establish a task force specialized in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies. Held periodically, the GCC e-Government Executive Committee Meeting aims to strengthen cooperation and the exchange of e-government knowledge among member states, producing a number of important recommendations that raise the standards of e-governments in the GCC.
17 June 2021
Open Data Policy and strategic procurement requests valued at approximately BD3.5 million were discussed at the 45th Information and Communication Technology Governance Committee (ICTGC) meeting, chaired by Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed. During the meeting, held via video conference, Al Qaed said that the addition of Ministry of Health representative, Dr. Mariam Al Hajeri to the committee will enhance its tasks and help it to better achieve its objectives. He praised the efforts of outgoing committee member, Fatima Al Ahmed, and wished her the best. The meeting discussed the Open Data Policy, which aims to strengthen transparency and accountability while highlighting on the importance of making government data accessible and easy to use by various sectors, which in turn promotes innovation and creativity. The policy was created in line with the high standards and practices of the United Nations (UN) eGovernment Readiness Index, and adheres to the Kingdom’s laws, covering the Protection of Information and State Documents and Personal Data. Among the notable strategic procurement requests was the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs & Urban Planning’s ‘Rimal’ project, which will automate procedures for sand searching and mining through a host of advanced spatial systems eServices built using an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform. The committee also discussed the Education & Training Quality Authority’s national electronic exam project for students in the 9th and 12th grades, which is one of the most important initiatives by the Supreme Council for the Development of Education and Training. The system will enhance education in the Kingdom through the automation of the student exam system and more accurate performance measurement. The meeting also covered the upgrading of network systems and infrastructure, the renewal of support and maintenance licenses at a number of government entities, and the implementation of decisions from previous meetings. Other government representatives on the ICTGC include iGA Deputy CE of eTransformation, Dr. Zakareya Ahmed AlKhajah; Deputy Prime Minister’s Office Committee Affairs Coordinator, Dr. Aref AbdulRahman Abdulkarim; iGA Director of Governance and Enterprise Architecture, Dr. Khalid Almutawah; Ministry of Finance and National Economy Assistant Undersecretary of Resources and Information and Future Generation Reserve Acting CEO, Ebrahim Abul; Ministry of Education Assistant Undersecretary for Planning and Information, Nawal Al Khater; University of Bahrain College of IT Dean, Dr. Lamya Al-Jasmi; Ministry of Health Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health, Dr. Mariam Ebrahim Al-Hajeri; Economic Development Board Corporate Services Director, Maha Mufeez; Office of the Prime Minister representative, Ali Jassim Humood; and Information Technology Project Management Consultant, Ali AlSoufi. The event was also attended by the committee’s supporting team. Al Qaed concluded the meeting by thanking the committee members for their efforts and continuous support.
14 June 2021
Information & eGovernment Authority held an engaging and productive virtual Regional eGovernment Experts workshop on 9th June 2021 to provide vital inputs to improve eGovernment Development Indicators for the upcoming United Nations eGovernment Survey Report 2022, a globally recognized index and benchmark on the development of eGovernment. The workshop, organized under the patronage of H.E. Mohammed Al Qaed, Chief Executive, Information & eGovernment Authority, brought senior UNDESA officials, leaders of digital government in the Arab & Gulf Region, ICT experts, decision makers, academicians, researchers, government officials and practioners across the globe. The speakers and participants in the workshop praised Kingdom of Bahrain’s effort to strengthen the cooperation and exchange of experiences between Arab countries in the e-government field. The event granted the participants deep insights into the achievements of GCC countries in the digital government field as well as the ways to address the issues and challenges pertaining to UN eGovernment indicators. In his welcome message, Mr. Al Qaed talked about the significance of the UN eGovernment Development Report and how it paves the way for the future direction of the Digital Government. Mr. Al Qaed added that the UN eGovernment Report "provides visionary directions to set the international ICT Trends. He stressed the importance of cooperation between the GCC and Arab region and UNDESA. The region takes the report seriously by imbedding it in their national strategies and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). He discussed the major technological advancements such as 5 G, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence that has been implemented in many countries across the region and how ICT advancements have accelerated the diversification of the economy in many countries in the region. He also stressed how technological advancement had supported the government's effort to address the challenges related to COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, Mr. Al Qaed highlighted the importance of reflecting the regional challenges and technological advancement aspirations in the UN Report. In his keynote speech, Mr. Vincenzo Aquaro, Chief, Digital Government Branch, Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) provided a glimpse of Global eGovernment scenario and the methodology associated with various components of eGovernment development components such as Online Service Index (OSI), Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) and Human Capital Index (HCI). He also highlighted the proposed improvements in Online Service Index and other pilot initiatives including use of AI for more effective groupings of member states. The keynote speech was followed by a session where the digital leaders of eGovernment in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, , , and Morocco presented their digital achievements and their future plans with the participation of Egypt and Jordan. The presentations highlighted the significant digital investments and their emphasis on accelerating the digital transformation aligned to the National Vision leading to make a difference in the constituents’ life and the country’s economy. Digital Government experts spoke about the impact of SDGs on the UN eGovernment Survey. They stressed the need to have a new collaborative approach to data collection and should also give more importance to the demand side of the digital transformation. The round table sessions participated by the UN Expert, ICT Experts and eGovernment leaders in the Arab Gulf region discussed the global eGovernment trends and identified the UN eGovernment major findings with respect to the region. The participants explored milestones, issues and challenges concerning eGovernment development indicators to help GCC & Arab countries to learn from the best practices and share knowledge about the United Nation's e-Government Development Index (EGDI) and its impact on the world today. Information & eGovernment Authority will be summarizing all observations, suggestions, and recommendations resulted from the workshop and submit them to UNDESA to presented at the UN Expert Group meeting responsible to update the UN eGovernment Survey 2022.
28 April 2021
The Steering Committee tasked with implementing the Qatar e-Government 2020 Strategy has made "significant" progress in fulfilling its scheduled targets, review meetings have found. Chaired by HE the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Dr Hessa Sultan al-Jaber, the latest review meetings were held by the committee over the past two weeks with HE the Finance Minister, Ali Sherif al-Emadi, HE the Minister of Development Planning and Statistics, Dr Saleh Mohamed Salem al-Nabit, and HE the Minister of Public Health, Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani. After the sessions, it has been agreed to establish joint task work groups, under the committee's supervision, to step up the pace of project implementation. The Qatar e-Government 2020 Steering Committee briefed the ministers on the progress in implementing the Qatar e-Government 2020 Strategy, the projects that have been done and others underway. The meetings reviewed project status, recommendations for each ministry's projects, challenges confronted and ways to overcome them. The ministers hailed the progress made on Qatar eGOV2020 and efforts being exerted by the committee to move on to the next levels, and placed emphasis on meeting the project timelines. HE Minister of Planning and Statistics, Dr al-Nabit, stressed the importance of vital projects drawn in the strategy and means to take advantage of the online data. They also stressed importance of co-ordination between all government entities to translate projects into reality and the need to conform to the best international practices. Established by the Cabinet in September 2013, the Qatar eGOV2020 Steering Committee developed the Qatar e-Government 2020 Strategy in February 2014, which was officially released in May of that year. The strategy is designed to benefit everyone including the members of the public, whether they are citizens, residents or visitors. All will be able to access e-Government services that are simple, secure, and available anytime, anywhere. "Qatar's population is expected to reach 2.5mn by 2022, and the government places a high priority on meeting the needs of people in Qatar, and making the best use of rapidly changing technology, now and in the future," a committee statement said. Once the strategy is implemented businesses and private organizations will find it easier, simpler, and faster to register and operate a business. Qatar's strategy for economic diversification relies on creating the right environment for investment and businesses, and removing any barriers to doing business, so that the economy can continue to grow and develop. By putting in place the measures recommended by the committee, government entities will be confident they are providing better services to people and businesses, are more efficient, and are achieving better overall outcomes for the nation. The result is savings in public administration due to e-Government, and time savings to citizens and other users. Beyond cost and time savings, e-Government also creates greater transparency and higher-quality outcomes.
28 April 2021
The Information Systems Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) announced the launch of two new services, in coordination with the Engineers & Engineering Offices Accrediting & Classifying Committee, namely the grievances service and the registration and follow-up service of engineers' accreditation by the Engineers & Engineering Offices Accrediting & Classifying Committee. Users can benefit from the two services by submitting their grievances requests through the MMUP website, then following up their requests and the actions taken. The two services are part of the bundle of services related to the committee on the MMUP website to ease and accelerate the completion of the committee-related services.
15 April 2021
In support of accelerating further digital transformation In line with the latest approval by the Cabinet, chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, on the introduction of an eWallet to facilitate the efficiency of government transactions, the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) Chief Executive, His Excellency Mohamad Ali Al Qaed, welcomed the approval, . praising the move as a reaffirmation of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s commitment in keeping pace with the latest global advancements and creating a safe digital environment. The eWallet will be a continuation of the government’s strategy to introduce advanced electronic systems that meet high standards and contribute to the efficiency and quality of government services provided to citizens and residents and to the further development of the Kingdom as a whole. HE Al-Qaed stated that the Kingdom continues in accelerating its pace of digital transformation by providing various electronic payment channels as an alternative to accepting conventional cash notes, adding that the project will be introduced in line with regulations stipulated by Central Bank of Bahrain, including Know Your Customer (KYC) features to combat money laundering. It will also offer convenient options, including the ability to top-up electronically. HE Al Qaed praised the roles of all stakeholders who are involved in implementing this initiative, which is an important step in the Kingdom’s path towards digital transformation
07 April 2021
The Bahraini economy is recording a recovery at current prices by 0.20% in the fourth quarter of 2020
The Information and eGovernment Authority issued the preliminary results of the national accounts for the fourth quarter of 2020. The report indicated that the Kingdom of Bahrain's GDP had achieved a slight recovery in the fourth quarter at current prices, equivalent to 0.20%, while the economy stabilized at constant prices compared to the previous quarter of the same year (Q32020). The quarterly National Accounts bulletin indicated that the gross domestic product of the non-oil sectors grew by 3.32% and 2.07% at real and current prices respectively, supported by the recovery of the financial sector, transportation and communications sector , government services and trade sectors. The national accounts report confirmed that financial projects grew by 11.56% at real prices and declined by 6.59% at current prices when compared to the third quarter of 2020. The bulletin showed a significant growth in the field of transportation and communications by 9.44% and 9.97%. Government services also registered a growth of 5.25% at real prices and 13.05% at current prices. The social and personal services had shown a positive growth of 7.15% at real prices and 8.45% at current prices. As for the trade sector, it rose by 2.03% and 2.87% at real and current prices, respectively. The Building and construction recorded a slight contraction of 0.77% at real prices, while it achieved a growth of 1.25% at current prices, while the mining and quarrying sector recorded a major contraction of 12.28% at real prices and 11.43% at current prices. The hotel and restaurant activity recorded a decrease of 13.58% at real prices and 13.52% at current prices, reflecting the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector. The Manufacturing sector has shown a mixed trend, decreased by 1.79% at real prices while they grew by 5.31% at current prices. As for private educational and health services, private education witnessed a decrease of 0.54% and 0.21% at real and current prices, respectively. Private health services also witnessed a contraction of 0.02% at real prices, while they increased by 0.06% at current prices. Comparison of Q4 2020 estimates with the Q4 2019 estimates When compared the economic sectors and activities during the fourth quarter of 2020 with the corresponding quarter for the year 2019, we find that the economy contracted by 5.51% at real prices and by 7.28% at current prices. The results also showed a significant negative growth in the oil sector by 8.62% at constant prices, and by 30.90% at current prices, and the decline also continued in the non-oil sector by 4.82% and 3.27% at constant and current prices, respectively. The government services grew by 12.68% at real prices and 13.72% at current prices, whereas the financial sector projects recorded a positive growth of 11.04% and 12.48% at real and current prices, respectively. However, due to the extension of the repercussions of the pandemic and its direct impact on air traffic and hotel occupancy, the hotel and restaurant sector declined by 42.22% and 42.58% at real and current prices respectively, whereas the transport and communications activity recorded a decrease by 30.78% at real prices and 29.27% at current prices. The report also indicated a decline in building and construction activity amounting to 2.14% at constant prices and 10.89% at current prices. Likewise, commercial trade activities declined, as expected, by 9.57% and 7.42% at constant and current prices, respectively. The manufacturing industries also decreased by 9.12% in constant prices, and grew very slightly by 0.79% at current prices. For more information, visit: www.data.gov.bh