Mar 1, 2018
Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha (Arabic: عبدالله بن عامر السواحه) is the current Minister of Communications and Information Technology in Saudi Arabia. His ministry is responsible for developing Saudi Arabia’s ICT infrastructure and workforce as part of the country’s Vision 2030 programme. He was previously managing director of Cisco Saudi Arabia.
Education and early career
Abdullah Alswaha studied first at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he graduated with a degree in computer science and communications engineering, and then at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he gained a degree in computer science. He went on to complete the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.
Alswaha began his career in 2005 at Cisco Saudi Arabia, becoming director of operations and overseeing the development of the company’s systems engineering, public sector, commercial, service provider and channel operations. In May 2016, he was appointed managing director.
Minister of Communications and Information Technology
In April 2017, Abdullah Alswaha replaced Dr Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Suweil as the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology. His ministry’s primary role is to upgrade Saudi Arabia’s ICT infrastructure as part of the country’s Vision 2030 programme, including a commitment to increase broadband coverage to 70% in rural areas. It is also responsible for initiatives to train more Saudi nationals in specialist roles within the ICT sector.
At the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh in October 2017, Alswaha announced a partnership between his ministry, the philanthropic organisation MiSK, and the Mohammed bin Salman College for Business and Entrepreneurship to put young local entrepreneurs and start-ups through a one-year training programme with big tech partners from the US and Europe. The same month he announced that Saudi Post, the government-operated postal system, would enter a five-year ‘corporatization phase’ before full privatization.
He has previously affirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to business-friendly policy and has called for greater empowerment of women in the kingdom as part of the push to modernize its economy and workforce.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018 Alswaha outlined Saudi Arabia’s digital vision, announcing spending of $3 billion to roll out a nationwide 5G network and connect two million homes with high speed fiber optic.
Other positions held by Abdullah Alswaha include board member of the Technology Advisory Board at Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University (PMU) and founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Incubator, which supports entrepreneurs to develop solutions in the fields of healthcare and education. In addition to his ministerial post, he’s the chairman of the ICT Commission CITC. Chairman of Saudi Post. Head of the National Executive Digitization Committee as well as many boardmemberships.
This article was first published in the Wikipedia