AI and Big Data Analytics Training to be Offered by VEON at New Tertiary Education Institute as Part of Digital Uzbekistan-2030 Programme

Amsterdam, 9th November 2021 - VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a leading global provider of connectivity and internet services, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to become an official partner of Bilim Tech, a leading ed-tech company in Uzbekistan, to launch the Astrum IT Academy, a new tertiary level education institute based in the Tashkent region. 

The Academy will be built as part of an initiative by the Government of Uzbekistan and will educate 2,000 IT students per year with a focus on AI software programming and big data analytics and Software Engineering.  The Astrum IT Academy is a core component of Uzbekistan’s Digital 2030 programme that seeks to initiate technology-led economic growth within the country.

VEON will be supporting the Astrum IT Academy through educational services where leading VEON IT experts will deliver lectures and run courses for students.  VEON will also help students develop advanced IT skills by engaging in real life AI and big data projects. Educational programmes will include the development of solutions based on anonymised data and live telco datasets under the supervision of VEON senior engineers.

Students at the academy will also benefit from internships at Beeline Uzbekistan and the opportunity to work within other VEON operating companies.  The new Astrum partnership follows VEON’s existing engagement with education in Uzbekistan, where Beeline Uzbekistan provides equipment and support for secondary schools. 

“Education, and specifically digital education, is a core route to the reinvention of economies for the twenty first century,” explains George Held, VEON’s Chief of Staff.  “Uzbekistan is highly ambitious and well organised in its pursuits of a digitally educated workforce that can transition the country towards a new economic future.  VEON’s partnership with Astrum is mutually beneficial; we can share our expertise, knowledge and data with these talented students, and they provide us with a source of highly educated computer scientists and data experts to support our business in Uzbekistan and other countries.” 

In collaboration with VEON, the Astrum IT Academy will educate 400 students in each group over a three-year programme.  All students will be provided with access to the latest technology and taught in a purpose-built facility.  Each cohort will be divided between AI software programming specialisation and Big Data analytics courses with the highest achieving students being offered internships and long-term employment by VEON, with up to 10% expected to join the company in future years. 

“The demand for software engineers has surged in Uzbekistan in recent years, following incentives created by Uzbek Government for IT companies.” says founder of Astrum IT Academy Botir Arifdjanov, tech entrepreneur who started investing into ed-tech.

“We are bringing to Uzbekistan new technology of IT education based on AI and peer-to-peer approach, together with our partners from Silicon Valley. And our cooperation with VEON will help our students to have practical insights and training of industry leaders in AI and Big-Data”

The partnership with the Uzbekistan Government to educate students at the Astrum IT Academy builds on VEON’s existing education commitments in other countries where it has operating companies.  In Russia and the Ukraine, VEON supports technology education through the Beeline University, where students are provided with modern IT tools, engage in real tasks and have access to real datasets. VEON also supports literacy programmes in multiple countries with over 274,000 participants. 

About VEON  
VEON is a NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam-listed global provider of connectivity and digital services. Our companies are transforming lifestyles through technology-driven services that empower opportunity in some of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets. For more information, visit: https://www.veon.com  

About Astrum IT Academy
Astrum IT Academy provides high-quality training programs, designed to meet the industry's evolving IT needs, with a peer-to-peer learning environment. IT Academy students are trained by an innovative program that meets Silicon Valley standards. The concept of the project is aimed at specializing in in-depth teaching of computer programming, thereby contributing to the development of higher education and ICT, and increase employment rate in the Republic of Uzbekistan. For more information, visit: https://www.astrum.uz/

Disclaimer  
This release contains "forward-looking statements", as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and include statements relating to, among other things, expectations regarding management’s education commitments in Uzbekistan. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which VEON cannot predict with accuracy and some of which VEON might not even anticipate. The forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of the date of this release. VEON does not undertake to publicly update, except as required by U.S. federal securities laws, any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after such dates or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. 

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