Microsoft Bahrain targets IT skills and digital literacy

Microsoft has teamed up with Bahrain’s Ministry of Social Development on a project designed to increase digital literacy and boost IT skills.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  February 15, 2007

Microsoft has teamed up with Bahrain’s Ministry of Social Development to launch a project to increase digital literacy and promote IT skills development. Ali Faramawy, VP EMEA at Microsoft, said: “Microsoft knows that providing access to technology is no longer enough. It is now equally critical to provide IT skills training, tools and guidance.” “Microsoft is committed to local communities and to engaging with those communities wherever possible,” explained Faramawy. “We understand that one of the greatest concerns of the Government of Bahrain, and indeed for all Governments across the Gulf, is to ensure that young nationals are given the skills, training and opportunities to play their part in driving the future economic and social growth of their countries.” The Bahrain initiative forms part of Microsoft’s ‘unlimited potential’ programme, which is designed to increase digital inclusion and aid global workforce development by providing technology skills through technology centres. The programme is focused on building up the IT skills of Bahraini nationals, allowing the country to realise its nationalisation objectives in terms of employment dynamics and accelerate overall economic development. The initial phase of the scheme will involve training up a select group of people, equipping them with advanced IT skills, and giving them the opportunity to then pass this expertise on. “This initiative will build a tier of master trainers who in turn will pass their skills on to others – ensuring the scalability and sustainability of the programme,” explained HE Dr. Fatima Al Ballushi, Bahrain’s Minister of Social Development. “In today’s knowledge-based economy, computer literacy has become a vital workplace skill — a skill that millions of people worldwide still lack. It is vital that we put plans in place to drive digital literacy across Bahrain and in turn support the social and economic development of the country.” Adnan Al Mahmood, President of the Bahrain Information Technology Society, added: “Supporting the citizens of Bahrain through an initiative such as this is on top of our agenda and we are pleased to support it wholeheartedly. IT skills are now no longer a bonus in the working world, they are essential and the ability to empower people not only through providing them with IT skills, but actually by giving them the means to pass on this expertise to others is an exciting one.”

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