Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

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Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA. (Supplied)
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Updated 18 October 2020

Saudi Arabia, Google partner in plan to ‘level-up’ Mideast

  • The program includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women

DUBAI: Several Saudi ministries have teamed up with tech giant Google to launch a set of projects aimed at helping the Kingdom’s economic strategy and digital transformation.

Google said the initiatives will focus on Saudi Arabia and the MENA region and will boost economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic. The program, named “Grow stronger with Google,” will include a comprehensive list of digital tools, grants and training opportunities to support local businesses and job seekers across the region. In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.
“We are proud to partner with Google in this initiative to bring value to Saudi nationals, residents and local businesses, especially SMEs through bringing them together using the Google ‘My Business’ platform,” said President of the Saudi Post Anef Abanomi.
“Through this partnership we aim to list up to 100,000 businesses in the first phase in line with Saudi Post’s strategic transformation objectives to improve quality of life and help SMEs achieve their e-commerce and digitization goals,” he added.
Lino Cattaruzzi, managing director for Google in MENA, said in a press release: “During the pandemic, online tools have been a lifeline for many in Saudi Arabia. Making the most of the online opportunity can help Saudi people, businesses and communities and in the wider region bounce back stronger.” He said the program will equip businesses and individuals in the Kingdom with digital skills, especially in sectors that have been most affected by the pandemic, such as retail and tourism.

HIGHLIGHT

In the Kingdom, Google will target the retail, tourism and technology sectors, including Saudi Post, which will list 100,000 local entities on the company’s digital platform and train employees in online marketing.

The tech giant has also partnered with several Saudi bodies — including the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Ministry of Tourism — to implement the programs. One project is set to train 50,000 students and businesses in digital marketing.
“We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future of this region, and we’re confident that by working together with local partners, we can boost recovery and build on the rapid acceleration of tech adoption we’ve seen during the crisis,” Cattaruzzi said.
The program also includes cloud training for local businesses, as well as workshops on advanced digital skills, such as a machine learning platform that will teach about 140,000 developers with a focus on women.
Google said it wants to help 1 million people and businesses throughout the MENA region learn digital skills and grow businesses by the end of 2021.


Saudi Arabia confirms 14 COVID-19 deaths, 217 new cases

Updated 29 November 2020

Saudi Arabia confirms 14 COVID-19 deaths, 217 new cases

  • The Kingdom said 386 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • The highest number of cases were recorded in Riyadh with 75

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 14 new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of fatalities to 5,884.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 217 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 357,128 people have now contracted the disease.
Of the total number of cases, 4,835 remain active and 674 in critical condition.

According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 75, followed by Makkah with 35, Madinah with 29, the Eastern Province recorded 18, and Qassim confirmed 14 cases.
The ministry also announced that 386 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 346,409.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 62 million people globally and the death toll has exceeded 1.45 million.