Finastra introduces UAE students to the world of coding

Finastra’s Hour of Code program was delivered to pupils from Dubai International Academy Emirates Hill in December 2019.
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Updated 19 January 2020

Finastra introduces UAE students to the world of coding

For the second year since the inception of its corporate social responsibility program, Finastra in collaboration with Code.org, teamed up with Innoventures Education and two local schools to introduce young minds to the world of coding and computer science. The initiative is part of Finastra’s long-term commitment to delivering computer science skills to children and young people in the rapidly advancing digital Middle East. 

The Hour of Code initiative is designed to demystify code and broaden participation in the field of computer science. During a week-long event, Finastra hosted more than 580 students from Dubai International Academy (DIA) Emirates Hills and Dubai International Academy Al-Barsha. The children had the opportunity to design and execute commands within a gaming environment such as Star Wars or Flappy Bird. Younger children, between seven and nine years of age, used “blocks” of code in a drag-and-drop environment, while older children learned to write code in JavaScript.

According to the World Economic Forum’s report on “Future of Jobs and Skills,” 65 percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that do not yet exist. Participation in the program allows Finastra to help further expand the movement globally and to introduce computer science to a wider audience, encouraging more girls and under-represented minorities to get involved.

Serge Tohme, managing director, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Finastra, said: “Through the Hour of Code initiative, we want to introduce innovation in the old silos of education systems, demonstrate the power of coding and show the younger generations new career avenues. The initiative is a great way to reach young people from all backgrounds, to make them more aware of the potential of computer science, open their eyes to new career opportunities and spark their interest in learning more.”

Candice Combrinck, head of primary, Dubai International Academy Al-Barsha, said: “It’s the second year that our children have taken part in the Hour of Code initiative and it’s been as big a success as the first. The program is helping raise our students’ aspirations and shown them what opportunities there are for coders. We believe it is very important to forge links between schools and the workplace even for young pupils so that they are encouraged to link their educational experiences with the real world.”


Report highlights 
NTP’s role in achieving Vision 2030

Updated 02 April 2020

Report highlights 
NTP’s role in achieving Vision 2030

The National Transformation Program (NTP) is playing a major role in overcoming the challenges in the way of achieving the ambitious targets of Saudi Vision 2030, according to Thamir bin Abdullah Al-Sadoun, CEO of the NTP. He made the statement on the occasion of the launch of a report on the achievements of the NTP from the period of its inception — June 2016 — until the end of 2019.

The report pointed out that the Kingdom ranked first globally in business environment reforms, according to the Doing Business 2020 report issued by the World Bank Group. It highlighted the establishment of the National Competitiveness Center (Tayseer) in 2019 and the more than 400 reforms the Kingdom undertook for investors.

Saudi Arabia jumped from No. 141 in 2018 to No. 38 in 2019 in the global “Starting a Commercial Activity” index. The Meras comprehensive service centers were established to provide instant licenses and electronic services necessary for starting a business, and a number of regulations were put in place to develop the infrastructure for commercial business.

“This resulted in the Kingdom’s advancement to the 49th position in the global rankings, three positions ahead of the most developed countries on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) indicator,” the report observed.

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Saudi Arabia jumped from No. 141 in 2018 to No. 38 in 2019 in the global ‘Starting a Commercial Activity’ index.

The NTP also contributed to raise the level of protection for investors through the issuance of new regulations on bankruptcy, the mortgage system and the commercial franchise system.

Al-Sadoun said the achievements are a result of the implementation of basic and digital infrastructure projects, and the involvement of various government entities in identifying the challenges and creating solutions and implementing them.

The report highlighted the Kingdom’s progress in the Corruption Perceptions indicator to reach 10th position among the G20 countries; the launch of the tourist visa, which resulted in the issuance of more than 350,000 visas during the last quarter of 2019; and a 20 percent decrease in road traffic deaths in 2018 compared to 2017. 

The report also underlined the Kingdom’s commitment to digital transformation under the NTP, with the country ranking third globally in the deployment of 5G networks.