May 31, 2017


The possibilities are endless. This was the message from Minister of Public Administration and Communications, the Honourable Maxie Cuffie, to secondary school students of the North East, who will benefit tremendously from the opening up of the area as the country’s ICT hub.

In giving the feature address at the North Eastern Secondary Schools ICT Expo, the Minister said that not only will the opening of the Tamana InTech Park become “our very own Silicon Valley”, but that the “planned expansion of the road network through Valencia and Manzanilla all the way to Toco, will impact tremendously on the level of development that would now be possible, opening up vistas of opportunity for you that were never possible in the lifetime of your parents and grandparents.”

The ICT Expo, themed ‘Demonstrating ICTs as a Viable Career Choice’ came to fruition under the patronage of the Minister, who is also MP for the constituency of La Horquetta/Talparo, and host organisation, CANTO. Teresa Wankin, Secretary General of CANTO, revealed that both she and the Minister felt that the eyes of students of rural communities needed to be opened to the opportunities available to them.

The green-field technological park at Tamana, he told them, “has the potential to continue the transformation of every aspect of business, of government, of society, and our daily lives. What we need is the perseverance and the will to make it happen.”

Minister Cuffie also announced that “Cabinet has approved a Public-private Partnership for a data centre to be located at the Park, thereby opening up tremendous additional opportunities for gainful and sustainable employment.”

This is in addition to the 1,000 plus jobs which will be created as iQor, a Business Process Outsourcing operation located at Tamana InTech Park adds Amazon, the largest provider of ICT cloud services, to their client list.

“I want to give the assurance today that this Government’s commitment is not only to the completion of this project, but to the opening up as well of this entire north-eastern region of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The Expo specifically targeted students of Form 3 and 4 of schools in the North East region including Brazil, Manzanilla, Matelot, Guaico, Malabar, Valencia and Sangre Grande. Minister Cuffie promised that the Government “intends to ensure that every one of you is prepared for a career [in ICT] that is in your backyard.”

“The traditional jobs associated with this region,” he said, “as well as those associated with your counterparts in south, central and west, all pale in comparison, to what is now before you.”

The Expo was held on Wednesday 31 May, at the UTT O’Meara Campus, and featured booths from within the ICT sector, including NIHERST, iGovTT, bmobile, Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), Flow and the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT).