Saudi launches $1bn worth tech initiatives to boost Kingdom’s digital leadership

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
  • Follow author on
Saudi Arabia
Representational Image

Saudi Arabia has launched a series of technological initiatives and programs with a total value of about $1 billion aimed at enhancing the Kingdom’s global position in the digital field.

The announcement was made during the “#LaunchKSA” event, hosted by the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), as well as the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), and the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA).

During the event, several multinational corporations including Amazon, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Informa, and Microsoft, announced their association with the Kingdom to create digital capability centers and innovation hubs for tech startups over the next few years.

With this initiative, Saudi Arabia aims to create one programmer out of every 100 Saudi nationals by 2030, in addition to encouraging innovation and creativity and achieving global leadership, Mr. Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of the board of directors of the SAFCSP, said.

During the event, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah al-Sawaha announced the production of the first Saudi-made smart chip to be used in military, civil and commercial applications. He explained that these smart chips have a processing power that is more than 60,000 times that is used in the human journey to the moon, in smartphones and in giant companies.

The head of the SDAIA Mr. Abdullah Al-Ghamdi said that Saudi Arabia aims to be one of the top 5 countries globally in artificial intelligence (AI), and this requires the creation of 25,000 specialists’ jobs in data science and AI before 2030.

In addition, MCIT established the National Technology Development Program with a budget of $670 million, with the goal of making the Kingdom the world’s leading technology country.

Related: KSA launches first geophysical survey aircraft to detect minerals deposits