‘Awesome South Africa’ festival delights LuLu shoppers

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Updated 19 December 2019

‘Awesome South Africa’ festival delights LuLu shoppers

LuLu, the largest hypermarket chain in the Middle East, last week held its annual South African festival “Awesome South Africa,” a week-long showcase of food products especially flown in to Saudi Arabia from the African country.

The event, which ran until Dec. 14, was inaugurated by Cosbert T. Rubushe, ambassador of South Africa to Saudi Arabia, in the presence of Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarket Saudi Arabia, government officials, and LuLu management members at Lulu’s outlet in the Riyadh Avenue Mall, Murabba district. Peta Anne Davids, a representative from the South African Embassy, launched the festival in Alkhobar, Eastern Province. 

On offer were a wide selection of imported fresh fruits, such as baby pineapple, blueberries and navel oranges, in addition to pastries and healthy picks such as muesli and oats in packaged goods. Conventional fresh food, ethnic delicacies and various kinds of herbs and spices from South Africa were also available.

LuLu Saudi director Mohammed said: “We are beyond grateful to the Embassy of South Africa for their continuous support for this festival, wherein we feature quality cupboard essentials, and outdoor grilling accessories that are perfect for the cold weather now. Our own South African food sourcing and processing arm has a big contribution toward ensuring consistent food supply at the most affordable prices. Every year, we celebrate this special event to highlight not only the products in our stores, but more importantly to bring different nationalities together in discovering the delicious food and rich culture of South Africa.” 

LuLu said it has continuously been exerting its efforts to provide and sustain the supply of global products at the best rate. 

With 183 stores operating worldwide, the hypermarket chain is one of the favorite shopping destinations of both locals and expats in Saudi Arabia, when it comes to a broader selection of international products. 

Yesser spurs excellence in digital governance

Updated 35 min 29 sec ago

Yesser spurs excellence in digital governance

With the bold Vision 2030 reform blueprint galvanizing all aspects of its digital journey, Saudi Arabia has seen radical changes in the way government entities operate and services are delivered to people over the past few years. Since its establishment in 2005, Saudi Arabia’s electronic government program, Yesser, has been at the forefront of developing robust information and communications technology infrastructure and integrating digital technologies into all areas of administration.

Yesser CEO Ali bin Nasser Al-Asiri said the online platform has enabled government agencies to simplify and improve processes of their operations, increase the quality of services, and deliver services not only in a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable manner but also in accordance with the aspirations of the beneficiaries.

“More importantly, the availability of these systems has made shared government data more easily accessible for all entities and enhanced communication between them. As a result, the decision-making processes have become more effective and efficient,” he said.

The Vision 2030 agenda envisages “an ambitious nation effectively governed.” Working toward realizing this goal, Yesser has focused on providing the latest technical solutions to governmental agencies, programs, and organizations to raise the productivity and efficiency of the public sector. These solutions have revolutionized the system of service development and delivery in the Kingdom’s public sector.

For instance, the Unified National Platform “gov.sa” is a reliable portal for more than 900 government electronic services and includes information on 250 government agencies in the Kingdom, whereas the National Contact Center (Amer) is aimed at facilitating e-government transactions for the public by providing support services and addressing inquiries about 345 services offered by more than 40 government agencies associated with the center. Meanwhile, the Government Service Bus (GSB) facilitates the integration and exchange of shared government data between government agencies for safe and timely online delivery of services.

Yesser’s initiatives were also instrumental in ensuring the continuity of public sector services when various measures taken by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 posed significant operational challenges. Besides helping activate remote working for government agencies, the entity introduced many initiatives, such as the launch of a guide for telework, benefiting 94 percent of the government agencies in the Kingdom. Yesser also collaborated with various ministries and authorities to facilitate the return of Saudi citizens stranded outside the Kingdom due to border shutdowns and air travel suspension.

Yesser was established by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in 2005 in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and the Communication and Information Technology Commission, in response to a royal decree directing MCIT to formulate a plan for providing government services and transactions electronically.