African Development Bank’s support to propel Cabo Verde’s efforts to become regional ICT hub

Cabo Verde is on course to becoming a regional ICT hub, thanks to the country’s investment in a digital transformation vision, with active support from the African Development Bank.

The first phase of construction of the Cabo Verde Technology Park’s main buildings, which is funded by the African Development Bank, is 85% complete and will be ready before year-end, officials said on Thursday, 08 September 2022.

The project will enable the West African country to diversify away from an economy dependent on tourism to one driven increasingly by innovation.

Over 50% of the beneficiaries of the technology park will be youths, mainly from West Africa and Portuguese-speaking African countries, like 17-year-old Ederlindo Lopes de Barros from Carbo Verde.

During Thursday’s visit to the NOSi Data Center in Praia, African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina met the young Barros as he softly but excitedly punched his keyboard and stared at the giant screens in front of him.

Barros, a student at the University of Cabo Verde, told Dr. Adesina that his dream is to be a network security engineer. He is undergoing a six-month internship on networking security at NOSi, one of the facilities the African Development Bank is supporting.

Adesina said: “It is great to be here to see this data center. I am delighted that we are financing it and the adjoining Cabo Verde Technology Park. We live in a digital world, so the ability to collect, process, and store data and use data for informed decision-making is critical. I am very pleased with what I have seen at the Data Centre and the main Cabo Verde Technology Park under construction.”

The Bank President described the data center as world-class and of high-security standards, and said he hoped to see its services extended to many more countries.

“I am very pleased with what the government is doing, supporting young people, and training them in science, technology and information. In the modern industrial revolution, you need these skills to work. That is the future,” Adesina said.

Over 15 technology businesses have already expressed interest in the Cabo Verde Technology Park, including Microsoft, Unitel, Huawei, and AfriLabs.

Officials say the ICT facilities will enable Cabo Verde to train, incubate and invest in innovative African youths, start-ups, and digital nomads. The message is clear: young Africans do not need to leave the continent to flourish. Cabo Verde has the necessary facilities and a supportive political system, Adesina said.

“We are moving in the right direction in technological transformation. We will do a lot for Cabo Verde and its youth with the support of the African Development Bank,” said Cabo Verde’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Olavo Correia, who accompanied Adesina on his visit to the technology park.

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