Providing the Kingdom with the latest and newest technology, supporting women and youth, and facilitating the Internet access for each individual are the main three concerns of Aysegul Ildeniz, regional director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa regions of Intel Corporation.
Ildeniz who has worked tirelessly to expand the use of ICT among women and underserved communities in the Middle East and Africa, including spearheading the World Ahead program, which is designed to address the digital divide and promote rural technology development, spoke to Diana Al-Jassem of Arab News in Riyadh to spotlight on Intel's latest development projects in Saudi ICT market.
“As Intel is one of the largest IT companies in the world, our vision is to make sure of bringing the latest technology and make a difference in peoples' lives. Our operations in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia have been active for over ten years. We are very dedicated to ensure that our latest technology and innovations are available in Saudi market once they are available in the rest of the world. We position ourselves to bring a transformation to the countries we deal in for business,” said Ildeniz. “We have worked together with the government particularly for the citizens to better their understanding of using the technology. We believe that technology alone in not good unless people use it and have a way to transform their lives with it. It is amazing to see the transformation that Saudi society has been going through for the past seven years. Saudi government has an active participation in the changing world and they actively use technology to bring transformation to Saudi society, where Intel has a good contribution to do that,” she added.
Talking about the role of CSR and leadership in today's global economy Ildeniz said, “We don't think any large or leading company in the world like Intel can do business without making CSR a part of its core activity in any country that it operates in. We take pride in doing various programs in the world globally with the focus very much on education issues in Saudi Arabia and the world to make sure that education is executed through technology. We have been training students, teachers, and women. Teaching people is a good business for us; how technology makes the business more efficient and how to pursue technology in their daily life. For example, we have Intel teach program in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, where students can learn normal curriculum by using PC all of the 21st century skills. The focus is mostly on research. We trained 850,000 teachers across the Arab word, where KSA has a fair share.”
Intel has six initiatives in Middle East and all of them are operated in Saudi Arabia including the Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI). It is a multi-year comprehensive program launched back in 2005 to expand Intel's economic, educational and technology-related support throughout the region. Intel has also launched a program called 'Intel Teach Program' training 850,000 teachers in the Arab region helping them to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms.
Moreover, Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) aims at encouraging students of the 14-8 age group to gain interest in scientific research and conduct research projects based on the methodology and tenets of scientific research. It has been launched in seven countries across the Middle East, with a total of 18 affiliated fairs. This year, Saudi students have captured seven grand and special awards in the competition.