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New Internet Training Centre inaugurated in Tonga

ITU joins Tonga, Cisco Systems and Tupou Tertiary Institute to expand ICT opportunities

Geneva, 16 February 2009 — An ITU Internet Training Centre opened in Tonga today aimed at providing new opportunities for youth in the region. The training centre was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Tonga and Minister responsible for Communications, Dr Feleti Sevele in the presence of Mr Sami Al-Basheer, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, Ms Helen Stig, the Cisco Academy Area Manager (ANZ&PI) and Mr Alifeleti Atiola, Director of the Tupou Tertiary Institute (TTI).

The ITU Internet Training Centre opened in connection with the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum: Connecting the Unconnected to be held from 17−20 February 2009 in Nukualofa, Kingdom of Tonga.

This new partnership will assist in delivering on one of the key themes debated at the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum: how to enhance learning and development (human capacity building) opportunities in the region. Launched in parallel with a Centre of Excellence partnership with the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA), these two practical initiatives represent important steps to promote the use of ICTs and their role as a foundation for economic development in the region.

Using the train-the-trainer approach, the Internet Training Centre is currently training three instructors and four technicians on the Information Technology Essentials (ITE) curriculum which will then be offered to students at TTI from 23 February this year. ITU has also sponsored two instructors from the Internet Training Centre in Samoa to take advantage of this opportunity. TTI will also offer the Cisco Certified Networking Academy (CCNA) course with the support of Cisco and their regional academy, the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE Meadowbank, Australia. The centre will provide students with certification that is in high demand, preparing them for employment at home or abroad. The addition of the ITE and CCNA curricula this year will help TTI move closer to its objective of offering a bachelors degree in information technology.

An initiative of the ITU Academy (http://academy.itu.int/), Internet Training Centres aim to help developing countries meet their human resource requirements for skilled Internet and "new economy" professionals by establishing Internet and IP-related training programmes in existing training/educational institutions. ITU works with public and private sector partners to set up Internet training centres, and the Internet/IP related training programmes are then transferred to training and educational institutions in developing countries.

ITU has worked with Cisco Systems, through their Networking Academy programme (www.cisco.com/web/about/citizenship/socio-economic/NetAcad.html) to establish approximately 70 new Internet training centres in developing countries, with special emphasis on empowering young women to gain marketable ICT skills.

For further information please contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
ITU
Tel: +41 22 730 5046
Mobile: +41 79 249 4861
E-mail:
pressinfoitu.int
Ashish Narayan
Advisor
ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +66 2 574 8565 ext. 113
Mobile
(in Tonga): +676 77 17752
E-mail:
Ashish.Narayanitu.int

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Updated : 2009-02-19