Mastercard: Smart cities key to a more connected MEA

Mastercard was a sponsoring patron at the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore.
Updated 23 July 2018
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Mastercard: Smart cities key to a more connected MEA

Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, continues to champion the fundamental role of smart cities in enabling a more connected and inclusive future for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). The company reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development of smart cities through meaningful partnerships with both the public and private sectors at the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore, where Mastercard was a sponsoring patron.
Markets across the region are already heavily investing in the future of cities, with figures from the International Data Corporation forecasting that spending on technologies that enable smart city initiatives will reach $1.26 billion in MEA in 2018.
Commending the exceptional efforts of regional governments in implementing smart city initiatives and creating more opportunities for their cities’ transformation into vibrant hubs for innovation, Mastercard experts at the summit shed light on the significance of a “public-private-people (3P)” model and data analytics as key enablers of the technologies that will open doors to the cities of the future.
“An inclusive future for all is a shared responsibility and we believe that effective collaborations hinged on a dynamic public-private-people model is the way forward if we want to unlock the full potential of our cities. Mastercard is focused on making cities more efficient and inclusive by enabling ecosystems that benefit residents, visitors and local businesses. The key to the success of these cities is partnerships, and we will continue to engage with governments, NGOs and leaders in innovation to enable a smarter and more connected future for all,” said J.K. Khalil, cluster head, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Mastercard.
As part of its participation at the summit, Mastercard welcomed a delegation of the region’s most prominent journalists and influencers, where it facilitated in-depth discussions with industry experts and showcased the latest technologies to demonstrate and build advocacy for smart and connected cities.
With two billion adults around the world still lacking access to financial services, Mastercard is helping advance inclusive communities globally through its collaborations. The company has partnered with over 60 governments globally to deliver more than 1,600 scalable programs in various cities and communities around the world.


PepsiCo. launches region’s first Million Women Mentors chapter

Updated 21 August 2018
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PepsiCo. launches region’s first Million Women Mentors chapter

PepsiCo., the global food and beverage company, has launched the region’s first Million Women Mentors chapter in Riyadh. Million Women Mentors is a global movement designed to support the engagement of millions of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors, both male and female, to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to succeed in STEM programs and careers.
With female representation in the STEM fields still lower than that of their male counterparts, Million Women Mentors (MWM) aims to be a platform to give women early in their careers the boost they need to thrive in their professions and form the future of the society envisioned by Saudi Vision 2030. The pillars of Vision 2030 support a thriving economy in which men and women have the capacity to contribute to the community’s growth and successes.
“Vision 2030 aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce to 30 percent, and encouraging more women into the male-dominated STEM industries will significantly contribute to this goal,” said Satyavrat Pendharkar, general manager and vice president, Saudi Snacks Foods Ltd, PepsiCo. Saudi Arabia. “PepsiCo. has a global commitment to empowering communities, as well as to creating equal opportunities for anyone to succeed within our company. By deploying the principles of our Performance with Purpose philosophy here in the Kingdom, we hope to provide women with the backing they need to be confident when entering STEM careers.”
MWM started in 2014 and had more than 2 million mentor commitments by 2018 with a goal of reaching 3 million by 2020. The new chapter in Riyadh is the first in the MENA region, with 12 mentors and mentees signed up so far across the fields of supply chain, information technology, research and development, and finance. New mentees will be enrolled into the annual program each year.
Within the coming five years, PepsiCo. aims to have at least two of the program participants in leadership positions.
“PepsiCo. walks the talk when it comes to providing women with opportunities to thrive within the company,” said Delel Chaabouni, chief information officer, PepsiCo. Middle East and North Africa. “I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to launch this important initiative in Saudi Arabia. As a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field, I have first-hand experience in forging a career within a STEM sector, and believe that MWM has the potential to give women the boost of confidence they need to realize they can achieve success in whatever industry they want.”