May 27, 2016Michael Sutherland-Shaw
Azerbaijan is hoping to plug into its information and communication technology sectors for growth and quality jobs as it steers away from being an energy-dependant nation.
“Azerbaijan has the potential to strengthen and diversify its economy through the development of the Information Technology industry. IT has a strong growth potential, and carries the promise to create high value added jobs among young, skilled graduates,” said Larisa Leshchenko, World Bank country manager for Azerbaijan.
This news comes after the World Bank and Government of Azerbaijan recently presented findings of a new study, “IT Sector and IT Skills in Azerbaijan: Challenges and Opportunities”.
According to the World Bank, Azerbaijan is facing the challenge to diversify its economy away from energy resources.
Its solution: Developing a national economy roadmap which identifies priority sectors, including information and communication technology (ICT).
While Azerbaijan has taken steps to stimulate ICT growth, the report analyzes challenges the country is facing in meeting the demand for high-quality technology skills.
“Azerbaijan has put in place a good environment for the development of ICT. Further progress in the areas of high speed Internet, training of skilled human resources, and support to the innovation ecosystem, can lead to the emergence of Azerbaijan as an IT hub in the region,” said Carlo Maria Rossotto, Lead ICT Policy Specialist who coordinated the work of the World Bank.
IT skills offer a potential to drive productivity growth of other sectors of Azerbaijan’s economy through swift communications, innovative knowledge and business intelligence, according to the study.
The study also found priority should be given to the development of the domestic IT market and local products and services line, in addition to growing the local IT talent pool.
Establishing Azerbaijan as a hub for ICT will not only allow for its economy to grow, but more importantly, compete in the regional and global markets going forward.