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Cisco bolsters investments in Saudi Arabia and supports digital transformation

At LEAP 2024, Cisco announced new strategic initiatives in Saudi Arabia, building on the company’s long-standing presence in the Kingdom and reaffirming the commitment to its customers and partners.

Based on the Regional Headquarter license granted by the Ministry of Investment, Cisco unveiled the establishing of a new regional head office in Riyadh, and the launch of a new phase of its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) Program.

H.E. Vice Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Eng. Haitham bin Abdul Rahman Al-Ohali, commented: “Technology is a key enabler in achieving the Saudi Vision 2030. Investments of global tech players like Cisco play a crucial role in strengthening our technology landscape, and in fostering economic growth and diversification. They help in bringing the necessary resources, expertise, and innovation to propel the Kingdom forward on its path to a diversified, knowledge-based economy, and advance its position as an innovation hub.”

Guy Diedrich, Senior Vice President, and Global Innovation Officer at Cisco said: “Our CDA program and Cisco Networking Academy are powerful platforms that drive co-innovation, unlock co-investment, and train the workforce of the future. As we enter the next chapter of our commitments in Saudi Arabia, we look forward to once again, lend our expertise, resources, and global network, to help the Kingdom’s transition into a vibrant, diverse digital economy.”

The Ministry of Investment has granted Cisco the Regional Headquarter license in August 2023, to support the company’s operations in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. The launch of the new office expands Cisco’s presence in the Kingdom and reiterates the company’s commitment to help accelerate Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation. Since the start of its activities in Saudi Arabia in 1997, Cisco has been at the forefront of delivering technology innovation to the Kingdom, working alongside customers and partners on numerous critical national projects, while investing in talent development.

Reem Asaad, Vice President for Cisco Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, Romania, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), commented: “Cisco’s ongoing investments in Saudi Arabia’s growing digital economy contribute to the rapid integration of technology across all sectors to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and foster economic growth. We’re excited to continue our pivotal role in supporting the country’s vision to accelerate a digital, sustainable, and inclusive future.”

Cisco has also announced the continuation of its collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, with a new phase of its ongoing Country Digital Acceleration program. The program’s third iteration will align to the goals of the Saudi Research and Development National Strategy, focusing on Health and Wellness, Sustainable Environment & Affordable Supply of Essential Needs, Energy and Industrial Leadership, and Economies of the Future.

Initially launched in the Kingdom in 2016, the CDA program has been supporting digitization efforts across key industries, fostering digital skills, and developing the innovation ecosystem in the country. To date, the program has implemented more than 20 projects of national impact across vital sectors including healthcare, education, smart Cities and government digitization. Some of key projects were realized in collaboration with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence (SDAIA), and Vision 2030 Giga Projects.

In addition, Cisco continues to foster digital skills, leveraging Cisco Networking Academy – one of the world’s longest standing IT-skills-to-jobs programs. To date, Cisco has trained more than 335,000 learners in Saudi Arabia on networking, cybersecurity, programming, and other digital technology skills.

“Today’s announcements reinforce Cisco’s commitment to support the digital ecosystem in Saudi Arabia,” said Salman Faqeeh, Managing Director, Cisco Saudi Arabia. “I am proud of what we have achieved through our longstanding presence in the Kingdom, and via our active programs like CDA and Cisco Networking Academy; and I am looking forward to more milestones. With our technologies spanning every IT and business objective, from networking to security, collaboration, monitoring, application development and more; Cisco continues to be at the heart of driving digitization together with our customers and partners.”

Image credit: Cisco

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