US network equipment maker Cisco has signed a framework agreement with Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (Adsic), the information and communications technology arm of the Abu Dhabi government.
Cisco will set up a networking academy to train local people in advanced telecommunications. It will also train small and medium businesses how to use computers and communications to improve operations.
The deal aims to turn Abu Dhabi into a sustainable, knowledge-based economy, the partners said in a statement.
The Abu Dhabi government said Cisco would help modernise key government sectors. The deal would also enhance Abu Dhabi's competitiveness in the region through affordable broadband networks, instant information access for businesses, and better access to world-class healthcare, education, and social services.
Cisco will consult on the design and specifications for the government's network infrastructure, network security, telecommunications, collaboration, rich-media video and conferencing.
Abu Dhabi will use Cisco's SMARTnet service for a 24x7 technical support the programme.
Adsic director general Rashed Lahej al Mansoori said IT was a key enabler to help Abu Dhabi become one of the world's best five governments. "Information technology has proven its important role also in the face of current international challenges on the financial, economic, social and environmental levels," he said.
The deal comes in the same week that Cisco announced a 10-year deal with Russia worth $1bn to promote entrepreneurs and sustainable development. The deal includes a $175,000 prize for innovative ideas for Cisco's next billion-dollar business, the firm said.