The Jordanian government has put ICT adoption at the top of its agenda and has launched a new national strategy that runs until 2011 that outlines its goals.
The plan consists of four key ‘pillars’ covering connectivity, research and development, labour and education, and investment regulations. One of the main goals of the plan is to grow ICT revenues to $3bn by 2011.
Cisco believes that the vision of the country’s leadership has allowed it to move quickly to a ‘connected’ world, and it is taking steps to enhance its presence in Jordan, because it believes the country offers all the right ingredients for a successful and vibrant ICT industry, said Fadi Moubarak, General Manager, Cisco Levant.
As part of its new expansion plans, Cisco is looking at doubling its current workforce in the kingdom, which has grown five fold in the past two years. The company currently employs nearly 15 business and technical Jordanian professionals, who work on local and regional projects in and outside of Jordan.
‘The North Africa and Levant region as a whole is experiencing tremendous IT growth and finding the right talent to support this growth is a critical challenge for both Cisco and our partners,’ Moubarak said. ‘The skills gap is even more extreme when certain technology areas such as networking are singled out.’
In order to bridge the gap of skilled technology professionals in the region, Cisco recently announced the launch of its Global Talent Acceleration Program (GTAP) in Amman.
The initiative, which is aimed at training and developing local network consulting engineers (NCEs), is based out of Jordan and caters to trainees across the GCC, Levant and North Africa.
Following the launch of the programme, Cisco is planning to host a group of talented Jordanian graduates who will be based in its Amman office and serving the MEA operations.
Cisco has also been active in providing substantial funding, technology and resources towards the Jordan Education Initiative (JEI), an ambitious e-learning project that supports the Jordanian government’s vision of building a knowledge-based economy.
The Cisco Networking Academy programme was also established in Jordan in 1998 and today has a total of 58 academies and about 6,000 students enrolled in the program.
Jordan is a key area of growth for Cisco in the Levant territory, and in particular there is enormous potential in providing advanced technology solutions and services to the country’s small and medium businesses (SMB) segment, Moubarek said.
The kingdom has one of the most dynamic SMB markets in the region with the economy being heavily dependent on the success of this sector.
Recent public reports indicate that Jordan has about 140,000 small and medium enterprises that employ over 33% of the total workforce. SMBs also provide the majority of new jobs and produce much of the creativity and innovation that fuels economic progress.
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