Govt signs MoU with CISCO to help build capacity for tech hub ambitions

Govt signs MoU with CISCO to help build capacity for tech hub ambitions
Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government has acknowledged the need to develop local talent to support its tech hub ambitions, according to Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson, who noted that an arrangement with US-based networking solutions giant Cisco would result in training for 100 local programmers.

Speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday, Thompson said: “One of the things we realized in this process was that tech companies go where talent is, and one of the things we have to do is build our human capacity. Even in discussions we had with Cisco and other tech companies about developing a tech industry, they zeroed in on the fact that we needed to build capacity in-country.”

Under the MoU between the government and CISCO, the company will assist in providing knowledge and opportunities; aid in strategy development for an Innovation Center in partnership with the University of The Bahamas Northern Campus; offer technical guidance to the government on building a tech hub; and partner with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) to train some 100 individuals in software development to build in-country talent based on CISCO standards.

Thereafter, those individuals will gain access to CISCO’s talent bridge with a view to identifying possible job opportunities within CISCO and its partners. To-date, some 300 students have already been introduced to basic ICT knowledge through the BTVI ICT program, which was launched in 2018.

Jordi Botifoll, CISCO’s president Latin America, noted that the government of The Bahamas is making a huge step forward in its tech industry ambitions and expressed confidence that the MoU will have a huge impact on the country. Botifoll noted that CISCO has already trained more than 2.5 million people in Latin America, and added that developing local talent in the tech space will attract developers.