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Apple Committed to Supporting Saudi Arabia in Digital Transformation Plan

Apple Committed to Supporting Saudi Arabia in Digital Transformation Plan

Sunday, 14 August, 2022 - 10:30
Esther Hare, Apple’s senior director of Worldwide Developer Marketing and executive sponsor of Women at Apple. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Esther Hare, Apple’s senior director of Worldwide Developer Marketing and executive sponsor of Women at Apple, underlined the company’s commitment to helping Saudi Arabia in its digital transformation plan.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Hare stressed that Apple was proud of the launch of its first regional academy for women in Riyadh, to provide new job opportunities in the app economy for women across the region.

Apple recently celebrated the fruits of its partnership with Saudi Arabia, with the graduation of more than 100 young women from the Apple Academy at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, where they produced more than 100 applications that would help and accelerate the digital transformation process to accomplish many Saudi Vision projects by 2030.

Hare noted that Saudi Arabia was selected as a regional hub for the Apple Academy, thanks to the tremendous opportunities and changes taking place in the Kingdom, which made Apple focus on diversity and inclusion and provide the application ecosystem to the largest number of people.

She added that the company was looking forward to expanding the diversity of the developer database and creating apps for the iPhone and other company platforms.

The headquarters of the Apple Academy are located within Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University - the largest women’s university in the world, Hare underlined.

Hare told Asharq Al-Awsat: “They are very successful partners… We are thrilled to be partnering here… and really excited to focus on education now in the country. We talk about the people, the energy, the beautiful building, everything that makes today possible and seeing these graduates really come through the program. It is exciting.”

She stressed that Saudi Arabia was the 19th largest economy in the world, boasting huge investment opportunities. She added that Apple was committed to the changes happening in the Kingdom, and excited to see Saudi women graduating from Apple Academy.

Among the factors that will contribute to the success of the academy, according to Hare, is the availability of energy and people. She noted in this regard that the graduates were enthusiastic about the work and the transformation they were making in a successful learning environment.

Regarding Apple Academy’s contribution to helping Saudi Arabia in its transformation plan, Hare said: “We are committed to Saudi Arabia’s ambitious plan, as Apple Academic Developer is designed to provide tools and training for aspiring entrepreneurs, developers and designers to find and create jobs in the flourishing iOS application economy. We designed this program to uplift communities and provide job opportunities for young people around the world.”

Hare told Asharq Al-Awsat that digital transformation would require a new set of workforce, full of new tools, ideas and new skills. Moreover, she added that the academy was designed to fully prepare the graduates to engage directly in the industry and achieve the required transformation.

“These graduates are prepared to head straight into the job market. I met 100 young women who represent the future of the tech industry here in the Kingdom,” said Hare.

“The app developer community will expand every year, and I am confident that we will continue to see not only massive growth, but also tremendous talent to come from this region,” she remarked.

Hare noted that the Academy programs cover the use of Swift to develop iOS applications, along with courses on marketing, business and cooperation skills, business management, decision-making and entrepreneurship.

“Many of the female graduates here have had great jobs while starting their careers as iOS developers, UX designers, project managers and more... As we expand the program, we expect to eventually reach more than 600 women each year with world-class learning opportunities,” she told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Hare went on to say that the Apple Academy at Princess Nourah University was the first academy dedicated to programmers and entrepreneurs internationally, and designed to empower women in the region and support them in career development.

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