Microsoft plans to set up a Centre of Excellence in Pakistan to familiarise the people with latest technologies and trainings to boost local innovation and assist in Human Resource Development.
The proposal was put forward by a Microsoft delegation which met with Pakistan’s Minister of Information Technology, Mrs. Anusha Rehman. The delegation was led by the company’s General Manager of North Africa, East Mediterranean and Pakistan (NEPA) Mrs. Leila Serhan. The meeting was also attended by Member HR, Tahir Mushtaq, and Member IT, Syed Raza Shah. Other than the proposal, several other matters of mutual interest were also discussed. Development of the Pakistani IT sector came under the discussions too.
Mrs. Leila Serhan said that Pakistan is witnessing exponential growth in the ICT sector. This has led to Microsoft’s decision to increase its presence and invest more in the country. She said that it is the right time to establish a Centre of Excellence in Pakistan and Microsoft intends to start working on it once the government gives the necessary approvals.
GM NEPA applauded the vision of the government for development of the ICT sector and assured that Microsoft wants to work with the Ministry of IT to increase its footprints in the country. This will assist in ICT development alongside maximising socio-economic benefit.
Mrs. Anusha Rehman informed the delegates that the ministry is prioritising the tech-startup ecosystem in Pakistan in order to build business skills in young entrepreneurs. She thanked Microsoft for partnering and signing MoU on the project “ICT for Girls”. The project is meant to promote and encourage young girls from dependent areas to learn about IT.
The Pakistani Minister was told that formal training of girls in Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal will start this month. The delegates informed her about Microsoft’s 160 training centres operating throughout the country.
Anusha Rehman said that ICT needed to be promoted to inspire socio-economic development and build a knowledge based economy. She stated that “We want to have ICT a compulsory part of our curriculum starting from primary and secondary education. Therefore, Member IT has been tasked to prepare an ICT Curriculum which we will share with the Ministry of Education subsequently.”
She requested Microsoft to assist in creating this ICT curriculum which was agreed upon by the Microsoft’s GM. On Microsoft’s part, the company showed concern over discouraging factors in the ICT business landscape. Mrs. Leila said that software piracy, data protection and cyber security are problematic to the growth of the industry.
The IT Minister assured her that even though cyber security and data protection are global problems, Pakistan is working to solve the problem.