Saudi ICT plan delivers $13 billion boost for economy

IT Minister Abdullah Al-Sawaha said the strategy will draw a roadmap for the future of the Kingdom in innovation and the digital economy. (SPA)
Updated 29 August 2019

Saudi ICT plan delivers $13 billion boost for economy

  • Al-Sawaha: The strategy will draw a roadmap for the future of the Kingdom in innovation and the digital economy

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector will increase its contribution to the national economy by SR50 billion ($13.3 billion) in the next five years, thanks to a major digital development strategy.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Sawaha said that the five-year strategy will expand the Kingdom’s digital capabilities in ICT, allowing the sector to pursue optimal growth in future projects as part of Vision 2030 economic reforms.
The plan will also help the sector keep pace with national requirements and global developments, and attract more foreign technology investment.
Al-Sawaha said the strategy “will draw a roadmap for the future of the Kingdom in innovation and the digital economy.”
As part of the plan the level of Saudi manpower in the sector will be raised to 50 percent by 2030. It also aims to promote and create opportunities for women and boost foreign investment in the sector.

FASTFACT

• The five-year strategy will expand the Kingdom’s digital capabilities in ICT, allowing the sector to pursue optimal growth in future projects.

• The plan will help the sector keep pace with national requirements and global developments, and attract more foreign technology investment.

The Saudi minister said that the ICT strategy will strengthen development activities, and raise the effectiveness and performance of the public and private sectors by enabling digital transformation.
“It will make the Kingdom one of the world’s leading countries in the field of ICT,” he said.
The strategy is part of the ministry’s efforts to establish a robust and sophisticated digital structure that will enhance the role of the ICT sector in building a digital community, digital government, a thriving digital economy and an innovative future for the Kingdom.


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 21 min 45 sec ago

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.