A quick reference guide to Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program (NTP) investment plans across health, IT, education, finance and the economy and the tech needed to power them
More than simply an opportunity for national transformation, each investment in Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program (NTP) will require a host of next generation technology, including networks and connectivity, analytics, robotics, AI, enterprise mobility, ERP, automation and machine learning.
Not only will this place Saudi at the centre of global advancements and digital governance, it will provide thousands of opportunities for those currently developing such technology.
Ministry of Health
Responsible for the entire health ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, MoH’s primary objective under NTP is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare sector through the use of IT and digital transformation. Specifically, the healthcare sector will require solutions in the digitisation of services – specifically secure ways to effectively communicate with patients – in addition to cloud solutions. It is expected that Internet of Things technology will be a key driver of advancements, allowing for remote monitoring and intelligent and real time reactions to patient needs. Under NTP the Ministry has been allocated a budget of SAR 23 billion (USD 6 billion).
Ministry of ICT
One of the busiest of all the Ministries, MCIT is tasked with 24 objectives under NTP, ranging from the activation of training programmes for graduates, to the establishment of an E-commerce Council and an independent body to oversee IT in the Kingdom. In fact, the focus falls on Saudi nationals, just as much as ICT, with plans to employ 20,000 young nationals in the sector by 2020. Achieving this will require rapid expansion of the IT sector and entry of new international players. The initiatives are expected to cost SAR 14.8 billion (USD 3.9 bn).
Ministry of Education
With 36 objectives, MoE will spearhead the shift to digital education, supporting the student and teacher experience. In addition, it will implement high-tech learning tools and create automated, smart and sustainable environments for learning, demanding interactive education tools, increased connectivity, more robust networks and dozens of new digital teaching and learning tools, that will draw heavily on AI and robotics. The curriculum will also develop to respond to the changing skill sets demanded across a digital workforce and to equip all students with an internal digital toolkit to navigate the unique challenges of the world they will grow up in. The Ministry has received SAR 24.3 billion (USD 6.4 billion) to fund its objectives.
Ministry of Finance
Tasked with presenting a balanced budget by 2020 under NTP, MoF is working to boost the performance of the private sector and streamline efficiency in government as well as introduce a raft of new tax legislation under six objectives. With an organically thriving private sector fintech movement currently transforming retail banking, tech will have a large role to play behind the scenes too. From smart government services to facilitate payment of taxes and other financial obligations, in addition to tapping big data to process enormous volumes of information – the aim is to springboard business and attract investment. SAR 3.3 billion (USD 879 million) has been allocated and MoF predicts further non-government investments of SAR 447 billion (USD 119 billion).
Ministry of Economy and Planning
With a remit to prepare the nation’s development plans and set the direction of the Saudi economy Saudi’s MEP is at the helm of the NTP. Technology will underpin the achievement of almost every one of Vision 2030’s 24 targets. With SAR 3.2 billion (USD 853 million) ready to invest across 20 strategic objectives, MEP will require high-tech logistics software as well as cloud solutions as standard. In meeting such aims as identifying new sources of non-oil revenue, AI-based data solutions as well as processing and analytics will also be key. Economically speaking, technology has a big role to play and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman has personally visited Silicon Valley to further explore the opportunities this presents to a growing economy.
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