SLASSCOM and Norway sign letter of intent for ICT development and entrepreneurship

Mar 06, 2019 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed their intent to further collaborate in developing the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector for sustainable employment generation in the future, and to bring about innovation through knowledge transfer programs.

A letter of intent in this regard was signed by the Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Thorbjørn  Gaustadsæther, and Channa Manoharan, vice-chairman and board director, SLASSCOM.

The signing was witnessed by Marianne Hagen, state secretary from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She was also able to observe and engage in a TechKids session conducted by Shiraz Azad, Manager SLASSCOM TechKids.

Speaking at the event the State Secretary Hagen stated, “I’m delighted to see the continuation of the Kids Can Code initiative. Kids are the future. I’m very happy for this good collaboration between Sri Lanka and Norway on ICT development and entrepreneurship.”

The initiatives planned within this potential collaboration aims to create sustainable mechanisms for the next generation of IT employment by introducing coding to children, targeting kids from the ages of 6 – 15 years.

This is a method of teaching kids the basic elements of coding in a fun and interesting way, with a special emphasis on encouraging girls to code. Beginning in 2018 with support from ICT Norway, SLASSCOM has initiated and supported code clubs in various parts of the country. For more information, please visit www.techkids.lk

Another aspect of this collaboration intends to focus on startup companies. Supported by ICT Norway, SLASSCOM has provided international exposure for multiple startups by participating at the Oslo Innovation Week, over the past three years.

There is potential for this initiative to be extended to encourage several Norwegian startups to visit and work from Sri Lanka. This exchange will enable innovation and knowledge sharing between Sri Lanka and Norway.