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GBPC to unveil renewable energy plan at technology summit

Kwasi Thompson.

The Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) is set to unveil its renewable energy plan for Grand Bahama at this year’s Grand Bahama Technology Summit, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson said yesterday.

Thompson, who officially announced the summit yesterday, said GBPC is also expected to “highlight and showcase the use of electric vehicles on Grand Bahama”.

According to Thompson, the summit will take place November 14-16; this year’s theme is “The future is now”.

Thompson explained that the government continues to focus on making technology the third pillar of the Bahamian economy. Since introducing the Commercial Enterprises Act, over the course of the past year progress has been made in attracting technology companies to Grand Bahama.

“It has been our vision to establish and grow the technology industry in The Bahamas to be a key contributor to our economy, similar to tourism and financial services,” said Thompson.

“We believe that Grand Bahama Island is uniquely suited to become an internationally recognized science, technology and innovation hub, and as such we have set out to establish Grand Bahama as this region’s Silicon Valley.

“The very first Grand Bahama Technology Summit, which took place in November of last year, was essentially our island’s announcement that we are open for business.”

According to Thompson, this year the summit will offer Bahamians and international attendees the opportunity to earn certificates through “courses offered by high-level international technology companies”.

“At the second Grand Bahama Technology Summit we also look forward to showcasing our education programs and highlighting the efforts and achievements of the government and the Grand Bahama Technology Hub Steering Committee in the last year,” he said.

“In particular, we will highlight the Ministry of Education’s ICT (information and communications technology) plans for ours schools, which recently signed a deal for technology upgrades and to provide tablets for teachers and students. We will also highlight BTVI’s (Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute) ICT courses and certificates, which are now offered to Bahamians free of charge. And we will see the first ICT-trained high school students, who completed the first phase of their summer certification course along with our new program with the YMCA to provide coding certification to 100 young Grand Bahamians. This also includes promoting investment in Grand Bahama in Texas, Washington, New York, North Carolina and Atlanta.”

Speaking at the summit will be names like John Padgett, the chief experience innovation officer at Carnival Corporation; and Eugen Winschel, global vice president and head of product management at SAP CoPilot. The summit will also have executives from tech giant CISCO Systems, who will provide CISCO Networks Academy training modules, which will provide training in the areas of networks and programming.

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) will also be providing training modules in corporate digital transformation and cybersecurity.

Thompson said the summit’s top sponsors are Aliv and GIBC, with GBPC as the summit’s special innovation partner. The Grand Bahama Port Authority is the summit’s gold sponsor. He added that registration is now open on the summit’s website grandbahamatechsummit.com.

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