Q and A | Global Services Promotion Programme

Q and A | Global Services Promotion Programme

What is the Global Services Promotion Programme?

On January 27, 2014 the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Ministry of Planning and Development (MPD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) entered into a contract for the Global Services Offshoring Promotion Programme (TT-L1038).

The Programme is expected to increase exports and employment in the Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS) sector in Trinidad and Tobago, through sector-specific training and support services, investment promotion and branding and capacity building to improve the business climate and regulatory framework.

A critical element of this programme is the establishment of the Global Services Internationalization (GSI) Hub which will entail the retrofitting and outfitting of a building’s interior and exterior to include a publicly accessible co-working space comprising collaborative physical and technological Infrastructure for students, professionals and local service providers designed to foster networking, collaboration and research and development, rental spaces for exporting ITeS Sector companies, a family room, flexible training and conference facilities and sector-specific shared facilities and services.

Whose idea was it to start this in Trinidad?

The Programme was jointly developed by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (specifically the Ministry of Planning & Development) with significant input private sector stakeholders such as the Trinidad & Tobago Coalition of Services Industries.

What are some of the tools and skills this programme will cover?

The Programme seeks to develop skills and competencies required by entrepreneurs and firms operating in the ITeS Sector. Based on our consultations with stakeholders in the sector, including those in TT AND those who have and/or are seeking to invest in TT, we are seeking to develop – by both increasing the quantity and quality – skills and competencies in the following categories:

ICT technical (and certifiable) : application development, digital media, animation, e-sports, cloud & infrastructure, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, IoT, machine learning, data science etc.

Managerial (and certifiable) : internationalization, marketing, project & risk management, business analysis, customer service etc.

Life skills (not necessarily certifiable): leadership, creativity, teamwork, team building, stress management, etc.

Is there a website?

We are currently in the process of developing our public materials including our various online presences. However, we are not waiting for this process to be completed to get moving. At this time, you can find relevant information about the Programme on the Ministry of Planning & Development website, the Ministry of Planning & Development Facebook page, and the Programme’s YouTube Channel – where you can also sneak a peek at what we’ve been up to so far. We have recorded live streams of a series of activities conducted in late November 2016 where one of our international partners, Google, has already visited TT and enagaged in workshops and hands-on activities with a selection of UWI, UTT and COSTAATT students as well as a sample of just over 30 firms and entrepreneurs in the local ITeS Sector through its “Launchpad” initiative.

How can someone sign up for this programme?

The Programme is about to issue a Call for Proposals where firms, entrepreneurs and training providers will be able to join with us to collaborate and participate in this Skills for Global Services initiative – a competitive process that is being designed encourage employer-led skills development partnerships within the ITeS Sector. To register to obtain further information, please visit globalskills.gov.tt

How are you going to measure the success of this programme?

Our success indicators are based on outputs and outcomes primarily focused on increased number of entrepreneurs & firms exporting ITeS (including new firms who have broken into new international markets), and the related quantifiable increase in the value of these exports and the contribution to the National GDP. Underlying these larger macro indicators we are measuring, among other items, the increased number of persons gainfully employed in the sector, the number of firms who we have successfully tenanted in the aforementioned GSI Hub and the number of successful graduates from the Programme’s Finishing School.

Work In Progress : History of the internet in Trinidad and Tobago

I had this idea (for some time now) of doing a blog post about the history of the internet in Trinidad and Tobago. Got my hands on a scan of this September 21 1995, Newsday article when TSTT launched their internet service. I couldn’t find this online. I have reformatted it for sharing on this blog. If you have any articles, links, dates or other information about “the history of the internet in Trinidad and Tobago” please send them to me in the comments below. So this blog post will be a ‘Work in Progress’ and I’m starting with this article. Plans are to contact media houses, NALIS, TT Archives, historians, TATT, ISPs and the likes.


INTERNET FUN. TSTT’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Martin, (second from left) makes a jovial point, encouraging smiles from TSTT’s Public Relations Manager, Patt Christopher (left), Newsday reporters Horace Monsegue and Kris Rampersad, along with TSTT’s Marketing Analyst, Sherry Ragoo (far right), at yesterday’s Internet demonstration.

Page 4 NEWSDAY Thursday September 21, 1995

TSTT surfs the Internet

MORE TRAFFIC joined the Information Superhighway, yesterday, when Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) launched its Internet Service at a special media communications workshop at Textel House, Edward Street, Port-of-Spain.

Participants were able to “cruise” the Superhighway, as TSTT revealed the latest advancement in technology that is turning the world into a “global village.”

Chief Executive Officer of TSTT, Samuel Martin said that the speed of technological advancement was so astonishing “that it is all too easy to be left behind.”

Martin said that the launching of the TSTT Internet Service will now make it possible for customers to be able to dial-up access or have dedicated access to the Worldwide Web through a local node. Martin said that in early 1996, TSTT expects to introduce Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) which will enable the transport of voice, data and video on a single line.

Martin added, “International incoming 800 services will be available by the end of this year and Pay 800 Service in 1996, to allow customers to access 1-800 numbers.”

“Public fax, video conferencing and Personal Communication Services are all part of the planned product offering which will complement or be added to the current range of services TSTT now offers.”

Jean Wilson, acting General Manager of TSTT’s Marketing Department explained that significant infrastructural work had to be conducted in introducing not only Internet but also Call Master. “In only six months our engineers were able to complete work on the modernisation of the exchanges.”

This feat was accomplished in what Nortel (Northern Telecom) described as ‘industry record time’, Wilson said. She said, “Nortel has been so impressed by what has been achieved here that they have requested TSTT’s participation in joint presentation with themselves at international fora.”

Wilson said there are 10 services being offered. “The services are being sold singly or in multitudes to meet the needs of our customers, satisfying their requirements for privacy, convenience and security.”

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Jaeson Bowens – Computer Science Engineer

Ask A Techie 20 Questions – Jaeson Bowens – Computer Science Engineer

How would you define a techie?

From my point of view a techie is someone with great interest in technology, keeping update with technological advancements and finding ways to help improve his or her day to day routine or solve basic problems with the technological resources at their disposal.

Tell us about yourself (short bio).

My name is Jaeson Alonzo Bowens affectionately known as Papi Chulo by some and Pimp by others, nicknames that I got from my adolescent days as a young aspiring singer / song writer / actor, performing in various events in SVG. Besides having a past in the entertainment industry, I’m a computer programmer / software engineer / database administrator by profession with a degree in Computer Science Engineering. My love for programming came about from my affection for creativity; it’s amazing the stuff that can be created by writing lines of codes.

How has tech improved your life?

Tech has improved my life in many ways but the most outstanding; is that it has enabled me to help others by using my profession or talent to create Software or Information Systems that generates social, economic and environmental benefits for institutions and public organizations.

How can technology be used to improve St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

Technology can be used to improve many sectors in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the health sector for example; an inventory system can be developed along with implementing certain protocols to help carry out a stock control of medicines and health equipment, resolving many problems at the General Hospital relating to its inventory; such as missing equipment as recently reported. Technology can also be used in the education sector to assist teachers in dictating lessons to students. Starting simple by using multi-media, videos, power points etc. in class or taking a step further by developing educational software with lessons incorporated to meet their needs.

How did you end up studying and living in Venezuela?

To be honest I have asked myself that question on many occasions while studying and living there smh loll. As we may know Venezuela present economic and politic situation is no secret but graciously I survived it all and accomplish my goal for going there. Now back to answering your question, I ended up studying and living in Venezuela because I took advantage of a scholarship granted by an agreement between the governments of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela. As we may all know a university education is not cheap, hence the reason why many students try to take advantage of scholarship opportunities and besides it’s way better than borrowing student loans and having to pay it back.

Do you think a country should tax online shopping?

I see no problem with a country taxing online shopping, once the tax on goods and services is not a huge percentage. The revenue generated, little or small can be used to invest in general public necessities.

Is CES becoming too mundane?

Maybe just a bit but recently I have observed that people are gaining more interest for CES as it gives start-up entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their products and to capture potential investors. It’s even becoming something more popular in the Caribbean. Maybe it’s just the Shark Tank effect loll nice show by the way.

What question would you ask yourself and how would you answer it?

How can I use my knowledge and abilities to positively impact those around me? I have thought of a million and counting ways. Maybe not the best answer but too much to write 😀

What has keys but no locks, space but no room and you can enter but you can’t go in side?

I believe it’s a COMPUTER or as Christopher Columbus would say; Una Computadora. (No relevance what so ever to the riddle lmaooo)

What tech would you like to own?

It would be nice to own a new laptop as my previous laptop got damaged. NB: Thou shall not eat or drink around an electronic device. Lesson well learnt lol.

Would you choose a million dollars or a year with Bill Gates?

As influential as Bill is, I would prefer to choose a million dollars as I can think of a million ways to invest it.

The best advice you have received?

“Stretch little and live long” – It’s a quote that I heard as a teenager, it means to do with the little that you have and make it work. It also stresses the importance of budgeting wisely.

Mouse or touchpad?

Mouse – it gives me more freedom using certain image and clip art editing tools.

What sports teams do you support?

Jamaican Athletics Team, Argentina Football Team, Barcelona and Manchester United.

What tourist things must I do when I visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

You must definitely go yachting or boat sailing in the Grenadines Islands; it’s to die for :D. Or go hiking at the Vermont Nature Trail or La Soufriere Volcano. You can also look out for the night limes at various venues on the weekends.

What tech event would you like to attend?

Any tech events with products and start-ups on display would be nice, once it’s not drawn out with long boring speeches.

How would you invest a million dollars?

I would invest it in something profitable, I would need to analyze the market before investing.

What future technology interests you?

Artificial Intelligence.

If you had to start a tech company what would you call it and why?

B-Tech – The B comes from my surname and Tech is short for technology (Bowens Technology). B-Tech can also mean Be Technological; Technologically Innovative.

What question would you ask the next techie?

How can you use technology to help benefit your community?

Press Release : UAE launches US$50 million renewable energy fund for the Caribbean

Press Release : UAE launches US$50 million renewable energy fund for the Caribbean

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) today announced a landmark new US$50 million grant fund for renewable energy projects in Caribbean island countries. Launched by HE Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents one of the largest-ever single investments in the region’s clean energy sector, as well as a significant deepening of bilateral relationships between the UAE and Caribbean countries.

Grant funding is provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs managing the initiative and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, leading implementation.

The announcement, which brings UAE development assistance for renewable energy to almost $1 billion since 2013, was made on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, as part of the annual General Assembly meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

“We are honoured to open this new chapter in the growing relationship with Caribbean countries,” said Minister Al Hashimy. “The two oceans between us are not the barrier they once were, and we are bringing fresh eyes and enthusiasm to each other’s markets and aspirations. We’re especially pleased to join forces under the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, which can simultaneously drive achievement of the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), reflected: “The renewable energy sector stimulates economic growth and employment, it underscores innovation and it capitalises on resources – all leading pillars in improving day-to-day living standards. ADFD’s steady and unwavering vision is to underpin developing countries in achieving their goals by forging new partnerships and funding multiple key sectors; notably, the renewable energy sector – the main catalyst for sustainable long-term growth.

He added: “In the Caribbean island countries, securing a stable and efficient supply of energy is a pivotal policy of each nation’s growth strategy. ADFD is proud to have partnered with Masdar and share its expertise to support the Caribbean nations as they unlock their underutilised wind and solar potential to drive energy security, job creation and socio-economic development.”

Mohamed Al Ramahi, Masdar CEO, added: “Renewable energy is an extremely competitive option for communities in the Caribbean, where there is tremendous natural potential a number of technologies. Caribbean islands typically face high costs for power generation, so unlocking this potential offers opportunities for both savings and growth, providing a powerful catalyst for sustainable social and economic development. Masdar is proud to be a trusted partner for this important project, which will draw on our deep experience deploying solutions for island communities.”

The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund represents a new pillar of expanding cooperation and exchange between the UAE and Caribbean. A number of Caribbean countries have appointed ambassadors to the UAE in the last year to develop trade and investment links, as well as prepare for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. For the first time in the Expo’s history, each country will be enabled to host its own pavilion, allowing Caribbean participants to showcase projects and plans to potential partners from across the globe.

The new fund will seek to conclude project agreements with several countries per year. Designed for flexibility, it can support renewable energy projects as both as a minority or full financier, as well as engage with both the public and private sectors. With Masdar as the technical lead, all sources of renewable energy can be considered, including solar, wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy.

“The Caribbean offers one of the most compelling business cases for renewable energy in the world, and a public finance push can be a critical factor in driving action,” said Ali Al Shafar, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IRENA. “Renewable energy has been a powerful relationship-builder for the UAE, and we look forward to partnering with Caribbean countries on this common interest that can in turn lead to new opportunities.”

UAE development assistance for renewable energy is now approaching $1 billion since 2013. Recent projects, implemented by Masdar, include eight solar plants in rural Mauritania, which power about 39,000 homes and save 27,850 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, and the provision of 6.5 megawatts (MW) of capacity across 11 Pacific Islands, enabling the saving of 3.2 million litres of diesel fuel annually.

On Sunday Abu Dhabi Fund for Development -ADFD- in collaboration with Irena have announced during the Seventh Session of the IRENA Assembly, funding four renewable energy projects within the fourth funding cycle. Projects produces about 32 megawatts of renewable energy, worth AED 163.4 million ($ 44.5 million) in four countries, namely, the Seychelles Islands Marshal, Niger and the Solomon Islands.