RIYADH: The Cisco Networking Academy, global information technology and cyber security education program run by Cisco Systems, has trained 300,000 young people in Saudi Arabia to acquire digital, networking, and cyber security skills, a senior official said.
Guy Diedrich, Cisco’s senior vice president and global innovation officer, told Arab News that the academy provides free training, education and skill development in addition to empowering women in the field of information technology.
“Of the 65,000 currently enrolled in Saudi Arabia, 30 percent are women, which is higher than the global average,” Diedrich said.
Salman Faqih, managing director of Cisco in KSA, told Arab News at the Global AI Summit in Riyadh that the company is committed to Saudi education in collaboration with several national, commercial and academic academies.
Cisco has been present in the Saudi market for over 25 years.
“Cisco has been investing in Saudi youth for a long time. We are very proud of the great examples who have led Cisco in the past. Today they are holding leading positions, be it in the public or private sector,” said Faqeeh. .
Faqih said that efforts to join the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority Academy are ongoing.
“We are very proud of our engagements with SDAIA, whether at the global or national level,” he said.
As digital transformation continues worldwide, Diedrich said Cisco aims to connect 1 billion people digitally by 2025. He said that currently they have connected 700 million people. Faqeeh said Cisco is currently working with government officials to set up a local cloud node in Saudi Arabia.
He said that the Kingdom is recognized as one of the best working environments for youth. Cisco ranked first in Saudi Arabia as the best place to work in the Middle East 2021.
“We focus on our working culture, developing our talent and ensuring that they are prepared to lead our business as well as advance in our industry over the years,” Faqeeh said. ” said Faqeeh.
On Saudization, Faqih said that the company is in the green zone. “The level of Saudization is well represented in literally every part of the organization,” he said.
He added that Saudis work in Cisco’s engineering group, pre-sales, post-sales, business, leadership and support functions.
Diedrich said the company’s country digital acceleration program is in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
Globally, CDA operates in 44 countries and supports national priorities including energy, healthcare, education, smart cities and sustainable cities through an ecosystem of partners