KSA’s roads ranked most dangerous in the world

Updated 30 March 2015

KSA’s roads ranked most dangerous in the world

Vehicular accidents caused by animals is growing phenomenon, particularly in Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom registers hundreds of accidents caused by camels each year, resulting in the loss of countless lives, as well as propery worth millions of riyals. The Ministry of Transport spends billions of riyals trying to curb this issue through the building of fences alongside highways, and other responses.
A recent study has shown that 97 percent of all car accidents involving animals in the Kingdom were with camels, and that more than 90 percent of these accidents occur at night. The Ministry of Agriculture has estimated that the number of camels in the Kingdom was approximately 241,893 in 2008, excluding stray camels that live in the desert.
Riyadh alone has 43 percent of these camels, followed by Al-Qassim with 13 percent, and the Eastern Province with 10 percent. More than 500,000 camels move freely in the Kingdom, and are found around Riyadh and Al-Qassim.
The study was conducted by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, and was primarily concerned with the design and publishing of a system that depends on geographic information systems to define the locations of big camel populations in order to avoid traffic accidents. The study was conducted by Dr. Mohammad Al-Zahrani, Dr. Khaled Rajab and Dr. Asrar Al-Haq, and included detailed explanations of major solutions that could contribute to a decrease in the number of accidents caused by camels on Kingdom’s roads.
The study revealed that the number of deaths resulting from traffic accidents between 1999 and 2005 increased more than six fold in comparison to 1992. The total cost of these accidents was estimated at SR13 billion in 2005, and is expected to reach SR24 billion in 2018, unless safety levels are improved.
The World Health Organization has stated that deaths from traffic accidents in the Kingdom mostly result in the death of male adults between 16 and 36 years old, and has labelled the Kingdom’s roads to be among the most dangerous in the world, with 29 fatalities for each 100,000 road users in 2007, in comparison with 19 per 100,000 in 2002. It was estimated that more than 1 million people died or have suffered serious injuries from traffic accidents since 1970, which is more than 4 percent of the population.
Traffic records in Al-Ahsa showed that 6,117 accidents occurred in 1993, and caused the injury of 1,604 people and the death of 159. Traffic accidents in Al-Ahsa increased in 2009 by nine-fold. Traffic accidents that involved camels ranged between 70 to 77 percent of all accidents.


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.