President Yameen promises to establish ICT parks, reduce data costs and establish digital Maldives

Speaking to a large gathering in Hulhumale’ last night, President Yameen revealed his plans to establish ICT Parks in various location in the country and to invest in the country’s own submarine cable to cut data costs in order to accelerate economic growth. With the current infrastructure data costs for service providers are high and this reflects on the prices offered to customers. The plan is to reduce data costs by 30%.

The establishment and development of a substantial ICT section is part of the President’s vision to continue to bring transformational changes to the Maldivian economy. The first steps towards achieving this have already been taken.

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Education Ministry buys 71,000 tablets for “Beyond” digitisation programme

Some might have seen the distribution of a tablet for every student in the country as simply that. However, that was a beginning and an important step towards the digitization of education, an essential component to establish “Digital Maldives’ and to build the future workforce of the country.

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Work is already underway to establish Hulhumale’ as a major technology hub in the region. HDC has partnered with Calix, the leading global provider of the cloud and software platforms, systems and services required to deliverthe unified access network and smart premises of tomorrow. Calix will create Asia’s first 100 percent gigabit enabled Smart City in Hulhumale,’ to rapidly bring its vision of an all-fiber, state-of-the-art smart city on the island ofHulhumalé to fruition. The vision is to deliver an unrivaled broadband experience and cutting-edge smart city applications.

The global ICT market is open and expanding at an annual growth rate of5.3% and offers the opportunity even for relatively small players to make headway in the field. Sri Lankan ICT exports which amounted to US$ 128 million in 2007 has grown to over a billion dollars by 2015.

The global ICT sector is estimated to be over 202 billion dollars in 2016.

The Maldives has a tech-savvy young population that is keen to engage in the ICT industry. Endowed with the right skills and provision of the right infrastructure and facilities Maldives can gain a competitive edge in the ICT world.

While the President’s vision is to develop the ICT Sector as a key element to diversify the economy, the intention is to create a sector with special focus on youth employment and youth entrepreneurship. ICT will not only offer employment and income, it can also offer a significant avenue for foreigncurrency earnings through the export of innovative customized solutions for businesses in Asia and for consumers around the world.

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The Development of ICT Parks is key feature of President’s ITC Development program

The development of ICT parks is a key feature of the President’s ICT development program. The ICT Parks will provide the physical infrastructure for ICT training. A comprehensive program of training for ICT which includes training in software development, hardware, networking, data management and security, and ICT business development, will be implemented. The next generation of coders and app developers will be trained under this program.

The ICT Parks will also offer the space required to set up new businesses. Changes to legislation will enable the government to offer tax relief and business incentives and for the ICT incubator program. The government will invite major tech companies and players in the ICT world by offering incentives to create a platform for knowledge transfer.

Smart Maldives, a single portal to access information and services is a part of the President’s vision. The platform will serve as a gateway to social welfare, make and receive payments, public services, healthcare and medical services and will revolutionize education for all ages.

Abdulla Fathyn