The percentage of Saudization in the technology sector has risen, touching 52 percent, while women’s participation in this sector has reached 21 percent, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology for Technology Development and Digital Capabilities Dr. Ahmed Al-Thunayyan as disclosing.
During the inauguration of the first digital commerce event in Saudi Arabia on Thursday at Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) under the title “Digital Lanterns”, Dr. Al-Thunayyan said: “Saudi Arabia today has jumped to the 12th place from the 105th place, when it was in the 10th place last month. It dropped by two places due to the pressure on the network, but its ranking is still very high.”
He said fiber-optic network has spread into over 3 million homes in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, campaigns have been launched for the transformation to “fiber”, amid some people who are still relying on the “wireless” with the existence of the fiber-optic network.
He added: “We bet on the G5 network, especially since Saudi Arabia is occupying the fourth place in the world in terms of providing this network. There are huge investments exceeding 7,000 G5 network towers in the Kingdom.”
As to the development of capabilities, Al-Thunayyan said: “Many programs have been launched to train 40,000 young men and women and create 20,000 job opportunities. There are programs for Saudization, creating job opportunities and raising women’s participation.”
He further said: “The ministry has drawn up a plan for innovation and investment in technology. It is based on the transformation of the communications sector, attracting the pioneering international companies in the high priority fields specializing in startup technologies. There are talks on these fields so as to attract these companies and host their regional headquarters in the Kingdom.”
Al-Thunayyan mentioned eight priorities for increasing the local content in the information technology sector and setting up programming centers. “There is a focus on establishing regional centers,” he said.
He added: “There are four centers in the process of being opened in Madinah, to be followed by others in Makkah and the other cities, with partners in the private sector, such that there will be regional headquarters for the companies in different regions of the Kingdom, amid the existence of promising opportunities and qualified staff.”
Al-Thunayyan expects this strategy to help the sector grow by 50 percent, especially since the growth rate has so far reached 45 percent. Meanwhile, the ministry aims to raise the contribution of the communications and information technology sector in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to SR50 billion during the coming five years.
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