LEAP 23 announces USD9 bn worth of investments
LEAP 23, the world’s most visionary technology event, opened a four-day run in Riyadh on Monday by announcing more than $9 billion in investments to support future technologies, digital entrepreneurship, and tech startups, and enhance the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The investments were revealed by Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha, the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), during a keynote address on the opening morning of LEAP 23, which runs at Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Centre until Thursday, February 9th.
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Alswaha confirmed the investments included Microsoft’s $2.1 billion investment in a global super-scaler cloud in the Kingdom, Oracle investing $1.5 billion to expand its MENA business by launching new cloud areas in the Kingdom, Huawei’s $400 million investment in cloud infrastructure for its services in the Kingdom, and the launch of a Zoom cloud area in the Kingdom in partnership with Aramco. An additional $ 4.5 billion has been invested in global and local assets across multiple sectors at LEAP 23, added Alswaha.
An annual event that brings together the world’s most important tech experts, LEAP 23 is rapidly evolving into a global tech movement, with the event expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors from around the world this year. The tech industry magnet comes as the Kingdom continues its leadership as the MENA region’s largest digital market, with more than $42 billion in active investments.
Across Saudi Arabia, more than 340,000 people currently work in the digital, telecommunications, and information technology sectors, with female participation now standing at 32.5 percent – a higher rate than both the EU and Silicon Valley.
Other major announcements on the first day of LEAP 23 included Meta launching the opening of the first Metaverse Academy in MENA, WEO Technology and Camel Lab launching Hektar, a multi-content social media app; and MENA Communication and STC launching Beem – a new application for instant messaging, high-quality voice and video calls, and business features.
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