Cisco Systems is investing USD 265 million to expand its operations in Saudi Arabia. The company plans to establish network training centers and sponsor a technology innovation institute to incubate Saudi start-ups. It plans to help provide network infrastructure to 2,000 Saudi homes in poor communities.
This is not Cisco's first investment in the Middle East. The company has been working closely with the king of Jordan since 2003 to develop the Jordan Education Initiative (JEI), an ambitious e-learning project. Cisco is linking hundreds of primary and secondary schools to universities and community centers and research institutions around the country via the Net. The company has also created 12 Cisco academies which focus primarily on preparing young women in Jordan for careers in the high-tech job market. These academies are teaching math and science and information technology. They've produced 600 graduates so far. Last year, Cisco was awarded a corporate excellence award by the U.S. State Department for its educational efforts in Jordan.