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Apple Women's Developer Academy celebrates graduation of first batch of 103 women in Riyadh
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 08 - 2022

RIYADH —The Apple Women's Developer Academy celebrated the graduation of the first batch of 103 female trainees in a ceremony marked with pomp and grandeur here on Sunday.
This is the first batch to be graduated from the academy, which was opened in June of 2021, as part of a strategic partnership between Saudi Arabia and the Apple Developer Academy following the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the headquarters of Apple in San Francisco during his visit to the United States of America in 2018.
The Apple Women's Developer Academy is Apple's only Developer Academy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and it's the first ever women-only academy by Apple in the world.
Several prominent figures attended the graduation ceremony. They included Minister of Investment Eng. Khaled Al-Falih; Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha; President of Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University Dr. Inas Al-Issa; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tuwaiq Academy Faisal Al-Khamisi, and Vice President of Apple's European Operations Cathy Kearney, and a group of specialists.
Speaking on the occasion, Faisal Al-Khamisi thanked Apple's partners for choosing Riyadh as a center for capacity building in the MENA region. He noted the significant impact that technology has on the Kingdom's economy as the largest technology market in the region with a volume exceeding $40 billion and the largest market in terms of embracing digital talent, whose number exceeded 318,000. "The volume of investments announced this year in the technical sector reached about $6.4 billion during the LEAP Tech Conference alone, and the financing rate for startups in the sector soared in the first half of this year by 244 percent compared to the first half of last year, exceeding what was achieved in all of 2021," he pointed out.
On her part, Dr. Inas Al-Essa pointed out that the graduation of the first batch of the academy is a confirmation that history is now documenting the Kingdom's harvest of the fruits of the qualitative shifts of the strategies of Saudi Vision 2030, which paved the way for the leadership of Saudi women in the age of innovation and the future economy. She appreciated the constructive cooperation with the strategic partner - the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones, represented by Tuwaiq Academy.
Dr. Inas said that the university's hosting of the Apple academy, in light of these radical changes on the map of empowering the Saudi human, represents an important step towards achieving the goal of the Kingdom leading the world in research, development and innovation, in parallel with supporting women and increasing the employment rates of women in promising sectors.
For her part, Director of the Academy Ohood Al-Nayel said that the graduation of 103 female trainees from the academy came after an educational journey that spanned nearly nine months, during which they worked in more than 720 training hours to develop 88 applications.
It is noteworthy that Apple's choice of Riyadh as the headquarters of its academy stems from the Kingdom's position as a regional technical hub in the MENA region, and its ambitious plans to build digital capabilities to achieve the goals of the Vision 2030, and to translate its efforts to lead the most advanced countries in the field of technology and innovation, as it ranks second among the G20 countries in digital competitiveness.
The Academy is part of several initiatives launched to contribute to achieving the social and economic goals of Vision 2030. The Academy is preparing aspiring entrepreneurs, developers, and designers with the skills, resources, and training to find and create jobs in the thriving iOS app economy. The Academy participants will learn the fundamentals of coding and core professional competencies, design, and marketing, apart from ensuring graduates have the full suite of skills needed to contribute to the local business communities. The curriculum also incorporates Apple's values throughout the coursework, encouraging learners to design inclusively and make a positive impact in the world.
Despite its short span since inception, the Apple Academy in the Kingdom places among its objectives the work of graduating 600 women annually in the field of technology, and the enhancement of human capital at the highest levels of qualification, in order to support the continuation of leadership and excellence in the digital sector over the next 10 years.
The number of women wishing to join the Academy reached more than 45,000 applicants during the registration periods for the first and second programs, belonging to 40 nationalities from 118 educational backgrounds, and their ages ranged from 19 to 63 years.
Based on the academy's goal to create a generation of female entrepreneurs in the application economy and startups, the Academy announced the extension of the registration period for all those wishing to join the academic program via the link

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