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Bill Gates Speaks to Asharq Al Awsat on Microsoft's Humanitarian Causes - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates, told Asharq Al Awsat in an interview that his company has a substantial social responsibility that surpasses his country’s borders confirming that Microsoft ascribes huge importance to developing programs devoted to humanitarian causes – especially catering to people with special needs, the disabled and the blind. Gates revealed that Microsoft, “continues to support and exert efforts in furthering the development of education with all its components,” adding that the company has contributed to training approximately 30,000 teachers through its partners and various training centers.

Gates described two types of responsibilities that Microsoft aims towards: “First, to establish the company’s name as the biggest advocate and contributor to charity among the world’s biggest companies, while striving towards achieving a significant influence on society – which is its main purpose. And secondly, to resume the company’s efforts in hiring human resources,” further indicating that training them to teach the programs that Microsoft creates adds a technical dimension to employment worldwide. He elaborated, “We have some advantages and enough flexibility to serve society; an example is programs that will be distributed among the youth, targeting all the different segments and using special prices – all of which are dedicated to strengthening society and teaching skills while broadening the horizons of knowledge but also aiming to overcome illiteracy on this level by facilitating learning, teaching and training.”

Bill Gates confirmed that it has been a long-term goal for Microsoft to redouble its efforts in producing more programs dedicated to serving the disabled and people with special needs, which is why the company regards developing audio services, among other forms of technology, crucial to facilitate communication. He added that these programs will be committed to catering to the blind and to those with special needs and the disabled at a time when interaction used to be extremely difficult before. He said, “We are now capable of operating some programs and applications as well as interacting via the World Wide Web.”

He stressed the importance of providing computers, computer literacy material and extracurricular readings from the early school years, in addition to training the teachers – which is an endeavor that has seen excellent sustained progress – to use the latest state-of-the-art technological equipment including video and as well as the other mediums available.

Gates explained that it is essential to follow-up and collaborate with universities, teaching institutions and technical training centers, as well as all other related institutions before starting to cooperating with computer science departments and centers, indicating that Microsoft has various partnerships with several training centers in Saudi Arabia, which are affiliated to the contributing educational institution. These centers are responsible for developing and spreading Information Technology by offering degrees in higher learning, which have worldwide accreditation and which teach the most up-to-date skills in computer and internet usage, as well as contemporary applications and programs that are renowned throughout the world.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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