Al-Hasa Explores Potential for IT to Transform Local Business and Agriculture

World’s Largest Business Software Company Meets with Senior Government Officials to Discuss Opportunities for Landmark Project

Al-Hasa, Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaSAP, the world’s largest business software, has held meetings with senior Al-Hasa government officials to discuss how a ground-breaking combination of IT solutions, microfinance and education can help transform local agricultural and business processes.

The high-level meeting formed a part of the Al-Hasa Chamber of Commerce’s M Government Conference and was attended by Christian Merz, Director of Internet Services, SAP Research Karlsruhe, and Selim J. Eddé, Vice President Government Relations, SAP Middle East & North Africa (MENA). Al-Hasa Chamber of Commerce was represented by Saleh Bin Hassan Al Afaleq, Chairman of the Board, and Ali Bin Hassan Al Ali, Head of the IT committee, with other attendees including the Labour Office, the Agricultural Fund, as well a host of local business leaders.

Top of the agenda was how SAP software solutions could act as a fulcrum for creating, empowering a socially sustainable value chain in agricultural processes – particularly date palm cultivation.

“SAP has notable track record in this field, and Al-Hasa welcomes their support on this project,” said Ali Bin Husain Al Ali, the head of the Chamber of Commerce’s IT Committee.

“Most recently SAP has teamed up with PlaNet Finance to dramatically improve the incomes and living conditions for rural Ghanaian women engaged in harvesting and shea butter business. The widely acclaimed project is the subject of a major case study by Stanford University, which recently noted that participating women have been able to increase their income by 59 to 82 per cent.”

SAP’s contribution entailed developing a software package called ‘Rural Market Connection’, which was used to manage and process orders, and allow buyers to interact directly with rural women to create transparency along the value chain.

In addition, SAP helped create microloan management software to ensure microfinance organisations gain timely information about their loan portfolios.

“A sustainable business model is one that addresses a real need. It incorporates the intelligent use of technology to tackle challenges, while creating value and generating revenue for the business,” said Eddé.

“Our meeting in Al-Hasa was extremely productive and has laid the groundwork for a project that could be influential not only across Saudi Arabia, but also theMiddle East at large.”

H.H. Prince Badr bin Mohammed bin Jalawi Al Saud, the Governor of Al Hasa, presents Selim J. Eddé, Vice President Government Relations, SAP MENA, with recognition for sponsoring the Al-Hasa Chamber Commerce’s M Government Conference.

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