Saudi Arabia has begun to shift its focus in recent years away from oil economy dependency and toward greater inclusion in more flexible markets and industries. Technology has become a major force multiplier in the world today for economies around the globe, especially those in developing economies. The Kingdom has recognized that it’s oil economy may be in danger of major losses or at the least, major regression in the future. Nations around the world, including China and Russia are shifting their dependency on oil and turning toward other methods like LNG (liquefied natural gas) and greener tech.
A large component in Saudi’s strategy is preparing its citizens and systems for the new economy. This begins with updating technologies and education options that put Saudi citizens in a position of power in the world arena. The Kingdom is not only looking internally, but also externally to bring recognition and resources to its new endeavors.
Saudi just approved its Board of Directors for the newly formed Saudi Federation for Cyber Security and Programming, signaling a move toward a broadening of technological initiatives for the Kingdom. For example, Saudi’s King Khalid University initiated various e-services which will be implemented by the General Management of Information Technology in cooperation with Saudi’s Scientific Council Secretariat. The moves indicate a decided move toward pivoting Saudi’s citizenship toward a more technological future and a competitive advantage in the world market.
In fact, according to the Saudi Ministry of Communication internet rankings improved overall, advancing 18 positions among global rankings in internet speeds in only two months, according to the Saudi National Portal. The growth is meteoric, with the Kingdom increasing to 16.2Mbps, over its original 9 Mbps just two months ago. Additionally, fixed internet speeds increased nearly 40 percent which advanced the Kingdom by 10 positions in worldwide rankings, according to the Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission in January 2018.