In the past few years, Saudi Arabia has been making strategic moves to ensure its digital sector continues accelerating. After all, supporting the information technology sector is a main pillar of Saudi’s Vision 2030 initiative.
And so far, the plan seems to be working- according to the National Transformation Program’s 2022 report, the kingdom leads regionally and ranks third globally in the World Bank’s GovTech Maturity Index 2022. Saudi has digitized over 6,000 government services, representing 97% of total government services.
The report also highlighted a number of achievements from NTP in 2022, including the launch of the strategic directions for the digital government and the licensing of 15 digital platforms. The program’s initiatives have been vital in developing Saudi’s communications infrastructure- such as increasing mobile internet speed to 181.24 megabits per second and fixed internet speed reaching 109.83 Mbps.
In addition, the report listed other accomplishments in establishing KSA as a rapidly growing digital sector that attracts investments. The NTP has introduced and developed policies and legislation to support digital transformation, such as the personal data protection system, the digital government policy, and the communications and information technology system approved in 2022.
Earlier this year, at the LEAP 2023 conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia announced more than $9 billion in investments in its technology sector, led by a $2.1 billion boost from Microsoft, which aims to build a “super-scaler cloud” in the kingdom. Oracle also planned to invest $1.5 billion to drive Saudi’s cloud-computing capacity, while Huawei will infuse $400 million to enhance the kingdom’s cloud infrastructure. An additional $4.5 billion has also been invested in global and local assets across various technology sectors.
According to government data revealed at LEAP, more than 340,000 people are working in the digital, telecoms, and information technology sectors. Female participation in the sector has also rapidly grown and stands at 32.5%, up from 24% in 2021.