First all-female Apple Developer Academy opens in Middle East

The academy will be dedicated to programmers and developers to build a foundation for work and a career in an app economy


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 6:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 3 Feb 2022, 10:20 PM

Apple welcomed its student for in-person learning to its first all female Apple Developer Academy in Riyadh this week. The academy, which is Apple’s first coding institution in the Middle East region is a partnership with the Saudi Federation for Cyber ​​Security, Programming and Drones, represented by Tuwaiq Academy, and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.

The academy will be dedicated to programmers and developers to build a foundation for work and a career in an app economy, as well as support the country efforts for women empowerment and the ongoing massive social reforms under Vision 2030.

Susan Prescott, Apple’s Vice-President of Education and Enterprise Marketing, said: “We are excited to welcome the first class of women to the Apple Developer Academy facility at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. The App Store ecosystem gives anyone with an idea the opportunity to design and build incredible new apps that can change the world. At Apple we’re committed to ensuring everyone has the tools and resources to thrive in the app economy and be part of that transformation. Through the power of technology and innovation, we are proud to be helping prepare these leaders for new career and entrepreneurship opportunities.”

In addition to the fundamentals of coding, young student and entrepreneurs will learn design, marketing, project management, entrepreneurship and more with trained mentors who are 70 per cent females. Female students come from all over the Kingdom and beyond and are between 20 to 35 across different backgrounds from IT, finance, art to law and medicine.

Lina Alismail, one of the Academy students, said: “It’s my honour and pleasure to be part of the Apple Developer Academy family. Our first day at the academy was like a dream come true. I’m looking forward to the next days and I am grateful for all the time, talents, expertise, support and opportunity the academy already gave me and will give to me in the future.”

The new Apple Developer Academy in Riyadh — launched in collaboration with Princess Nourah University (PNU) and Tuwaiq Academy — will be the first Academy specifically focused on female participants, designed to empower female developers and create new job opportunities for women in the region.

The academy is designed to provide the tools and training for aspiring entrepreneurs, developers, and designers to find and create jobs in the thriving iOS app economy. Academy graduates go on to start their own businesses, create and sell apps on the App Store, and give back to their communities. The academy — located inside Princess Nourah University Campus — expects to eventually impact more than 600 women per year, and will offer both a 30-day Foundations introductory course along with the 10-month Academy programme.

Ohood Mohamed Al Nayel, Apple Developer Academy Director, said: “We are thrilled to open our doors and welcome the first cohort of students to see all that the space has to offer. Like all Apple Developer Academies around the world, we will focus on enabling and empowering our students to actively contribute and benefit from the booming App Industry. Our goal is to become the region’s premier center for female iOS developers while supporting them in becoming active and effective entrepreneurs leading the digital transformation of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” —

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