Maldives Aims to Transform into a Regional IT Hub

The Maldivian government has embarked on an ambitious initiative to transform the nation into a regional information technology hub, as announced by Youth Empowerment, Information and Arts Minister Ibrahim Waheed. This vision is set to be realised through a comprehensive programme aimed at developing talent in the IT and technical fields.

Minister Waheed, speaking at the inaugural ceremony of an inter-stakeholder consultation meeting, highlighted the government’s plan to position the Maldives as a key player in the regional IT landscape. The meeting focused on programmes designed to empower women in the arts sector and to train youth in coding.

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The minister outlined a five-year plan that includes the provision of 500 educational and training opportunities across various levels. Collaborating with entities such as Women in Tech and Spark Hub, the ministry seeks to leverage these partnerships to achieve its objectives.

The IT sector in the Maldives, according to the minister, is ripe with opportunities. The emphasis on nurturing innovative thinkers is seen as pivotal to the country’s future progress. A critical issue addressed by Minister Waheed is the brain drain in this sector, which is attributed to the lack of adequate opportunities and compensation within the country. He expressed confidence that the government’s programme would bring a transformative change to the IT sector over the long term.

“This people-building programme is part of a series of initiatives,” Minister Waheed stated. He announced the launch of working sessions and a hackathon, the latter scheduled for the following month, as part of this series.

The training component of the programme is comprehensive, encompassing certificate-level courses, advanced diplomas, and bachelor’s degrees, targeting both youth and women. Minister Waheed remarked on the scale of this endeavour, noting that training 500 individuals over five years, averaging 100 annually, is an ambitious but achievable target.

The minister was keen to emphasise that the programme’s scope extends beyond merely preparing individuals for government employment. It also aims to support those aspiring to establish their own businesses or work freelance.

This initiative marks a significant step towards enhancing the skills and opportunities available in the Maldives’ IT and technology sectors. The programme not only aims to address current gaps in the industry but also aspires to propel the nation forward as a hub of technological innovation and expertise in the region.

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