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Taiwan’s IT Dominance to Boost Somaliland’s Digital Transformation in New Partnership Phase

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Taiwan and Somaliland have taken a major step forward in their digital partnership. On May 22, 2024, they signed an Implementing Arrangement for Phase II of their information technology (IT) cooperation project, aimed at boosting Somaliland’s e-government infrastructure and cybersecurity over the next four years.

At the signing ceremony, the Taiwanese Ambassador highlighted the successes of Phase I, which spanned from 2020 to 2023. This initial phase saw the launch of a government portal, the development of a data exchange system called S-Road, and the establishment of the Somaliland Innovation Zone (SIZ). Since its creation in 2021, the SIZ has trained over 1,200 individuals in 56 different IT courses.

“I’m thrilled to see the launch of Phase II of our IT project, which will run from 2024 to 2027,” said the Ambassador.

The focus of Phase II will be on building a strong government IT framework and enhancing cybersecurity. A significant part of this effort is the construction of a Data Center with an integrated Cybersecurity Center. The Ambassador stressed the importance of the SIZ and the government portal, assuring continued support for these initiatives.

In addition to infrastructure, the partnership will offer IT training, scholarships, and work visits to promote knowledge transfer and capacity building within Somaliland’s IT sector.

The Ambassador expressed confidence in Somaliland’s Ministry of IT to make full use of the resources provided by Taiwan, highlighting the strong bond between the two nations. “The relationship between Taiwan and Somaliland is thriving, supported by friendship and partnership. Together, we can achieve great things.”

He outlined Taiwan’s vision for IT cooperation in Africa, focusing on a people-centric approach that balances knowledge transfer with the necessary hardware and software. Referring to the saying, “If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life,” the Ambassador affirmed Taiwan’s commitment to “Developing the country with Information, Connecting the world with Communication, and Building hope with Technology” – the core of their ICT vision.

Taiwan is globally recognized for its leadership in the latest technological innovations, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductor manufacturing. The country’s dominance in the semiconductor industry, led by companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), underpins its pivotal role in the global tech ecosystem. TSMC’s cutting-edge chip designs are critical to the development of AI technologies, driving advancements across various sectors from healthcare to autonomous vehicles. This technological prowess not only cements Taiwan’s status as a global innovation hub but also ensures its strategic importance in the worldwide IT landscape.

Somaliland and Taiwan established official bilateral ties in July 2020, marking a significant step for both entities. Despite pressure from China, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province, Somaliland has maintained its relationship with Taiwan, seeing it as mutually beneficial.

Since establishing ties, the two have signed several key agreements. These include partnerships in agriculture, education, and healthcare. A notable collaboration is a major oil drilling operation in Somaliland, where Taiwan’s state-owned CPC Corporation has been involved in exploring and developing potential oil reserves, further strengthening the economic bonds between the two regions.

As Somaliland progresses on its digital transformation journey, this enhanced partnership with Taiwan promises to strengthen the nation’s e-government capabilities, improve cybersecurity, and develop a skilled IT workforce, setting the stage for sustainable growth and global connectivity.

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