By Ghadeer Ghloum & KUNA

KUWAIT: Three Google database and cloud service centers will be opened in different locations around Kuwait in support of the country’s digital transformation efforts, Google Cloud Kuwait announced. During Google Cloud’s media roundtable on Wednesday, the company also said a national training program will be launched to train 3,000 people from government organizations and higher education institutions in Kuwait on cloud computing. The program aims to train 1,000 government employees, 1,000 fresh graduates and 1,000 women in data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and security solutions in the first year of its inception.

Earlier on Wednesday, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received visiting Vice President of Google Cloud Vinton G Cerf and his accompanying delegation at Bayan Palace. Welcoming the guests, HH the Crown Prince underlined Kuwait’s efforts towards digital and technological transformation as being a core pillar of carrying out its national vision, launching development projects based on sophisticated technology, developing national skills in line with the best practices of specialized international companies and creating promising job opportunities.

HH the Crown Prince also stressed Kuwait’s eagerness to forge partnerships in this regard in order to realize its ambitions of transformation into knowledge-based economy to build a more prosperous and sustainable future. He further pointed out the Kuwaiti political leadership’s willingness to upgrade governmental services and cloud computing services, wishing the partnership with Google Cloud would be a starting point for digital openness and partnership with global companies concerned with digital, technological and communication advancement.

Cerf voiced thanks to Kuwait’s leadership and government for trusting his company’s technological services, while looking forward to a constructive partnership by offering the company’s expertise in digital transformation and technology use. Cerf vowed Google Cloud would spare no effort to develop this field in Kuwait.

The media roundtable was held in the presence of Minister of State for Municipal Affairs and Communications Affairs Fahad Al-Shula, Deputy Director General of Central Agency for Information Technology Dr Ammar Al-Husaini, Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority Board Member Mohammad Al-Rashid, Managing Director, Public Sector, Google Cloud EMEA Ellen Van Essen, Managing Director MENA, Google Cloud Tarek Khalil and Business Development Director EMEA, Public Sector Cloud Ellie Tabchouri.

Shula said digital transformation has become an inevitable and tangible reality, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and the period of recovery that followed. “This requires us to continuously strive to achieve the goals of the New Kuwait 2035 vision for a smart Kuwait to accomplish development projects and developmental programs through a national strategy to support and guide the country’s digital transformation journey and maintain coordination between relevant government entities and institutions,” he said.

“This requires us to also establish profitable and effective companies with global information companies, leading local companies, startup companies and innovative entrepreneurs to accelerate the transition to the digital economy, and provide infrastructure, digital services and applications that improve the quality of public services for citizens and residents. We emphasize our commitment to maximizing the benefits and opportunities of these developments, while at the same time confronting the challenges and risks that they may entail, within the framework of the directives of the wise leadership, the efforts of qualified young national competencies and accurately drawn accompanying policies,” Shula added.

Tabchouri highlighted the motives behind bringing Google Cloud for the Kuwaiti government’s digital transformation. He said the plan is to support the plan of the Kuwaiti government by delivering its vision. “We have heard repeatedly from the leadership of Kuwait that there are a few things that are extremely important to Kuwait: The first priority is e-government, while the second is the importance of job creation in Kuwait, because whenever Google establishes a presence in a country, there has to be an effect on creating jobs,” he said.

“Consequently, a lot more companies will expand their operation in Kuwait or come to Kuwait, if they are not already here. The third is bringing foreign direct investments into Kuwait, as Google is going to be investing an extremely large amount of money for building data centers and infrastructure in Kuwait,” Tabchouri explained.