Emaar, The Economic City unveils plans for investment in major five-year educational initiative with Cisco
Emaar, The Economic City (Emaar.E.C), the Tadawul-listed company developing King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), has joined hands with Cisco®, the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, for a pioneering educational initiative that will empower Saudi youth to be active participants in the growth of KAEC and Saudi Arabia. The initiative is steered by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the prime facilitator of KAEC.
In the presence of Prince Khalid AlFaisal, Governor of Makkah Al-Mokarramah region; Mr Fahd Al-Rasheed, Board Member and Chief Executive Officer, Emaar.E.C; and Dr Badr Al Badr, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia, it was agreed that Cisco will serve as Emaar.E.C’s training partner for the development and implementation of the educational initiative and will train a total of 5050 students over the next 5 years in coordination with Emaar.E.C.
Amr Bin Abdullah Al-Dabbagh, Governor, SAGIA, said: “KAEC is a powerful driver for the Saudi Arabian economy and is aligned with our objective of making the Kingdom one of the ten top competitive nations in the world by 2010. Need-based education is a catalyst for fast-paced development and the partnership of Emaar.E.C and Cisco will help in creating highly skilled young Saudi professionals who can take on responsible and leading positions in KAEC’s various high-growth sectors.”
Mr Al-Rasheed said: “As a path-breaking socio-economic growth initiative, KAEC is setting new trends in infrastructure development. Today, KAEC is recognized globally as one of the most attractive investment destinations offering promising opportunities in varied growth sectors. To drive this forward, it is important to create a pool of skilled young nationals. The educational initiative with Cisco is aimed at enabling and empowering individuals and businesses for future needs.”
He added: “KAEC has the potential to create 1 million jobs, and the new training initiative will complement our efforts by developing a reliable team of professionals. Cisco’s global standing and in-depth industry expertise make it an ideal partner in this endeavour.”
“The abundance of human capital is critical to the success of King Abdullah Economic City and developing and addressing the growing skills gap, as well as creating entrepreneurs and leaders of the future, is at the forefront of Cisco’s mission for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” commented Dr Badr Al Badr, Managing Director of Cisco Saudi Arabian Region. “The strategic relationship with Emaar.E.C marks yet another key milestone in our journey to help create some of the many new jobs required over the next decade for the upcoming youth of this region. We are delighted that the Emaar.E.C has chosen Cisco as a strategic partner for this momentous initiative,” he said.
The training initiative will focus on three key areas including leadership enablement through the Cisco NetVersity programme, Advanced Technical Training through Cisco Networking Academy and Mass Technical Training through IT essentials training.
The Cisco NetVersity programme, aimed at training 50 students over five years, has developed unique curriculums that include a combination of technical and soft skills (such as communication, teamwork, presentation and project management). These will assist IT professionals to become more well-rounded and balanced.
The Cisco Networking Academy (CCNA) initiative is to train 1,000 students over five years. Students will learn how to install and configure Cisco switches and routers in local and wide-area networks using various protocols, how to provide Level 1 troubleshooting service, and how to improve network performance and security. The CCNA curriculum also provides training in the proper care, maintenance, and use of networking software tools and equipment. The Mass Technical Training through IT essentials focuses on driving basic technology skills, work ethics and English fluency, and will train 4,000 students over five years.
Located on the Red Sea coast on 168 million square meters, KAEC has six components: the Sea Port, Industrial Zone, Central Business District, Educational Zone, Resort District and Residential Communities. The first phase of the project has been launched to strong investor response and work is progressing according to schedule.
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