TechInAfrica – Speaking at the Cisco Connect conference, the company promises to support the digitization in African communities, businesses, and governments through its initiatives for development, innovation, and job creation on the continent.
David Bunei, the Country General Manager for Cisco East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, said: “We are living in a world that is changing faster than ever imagined. We are inspired by the prospect of an economy with abundant jobs, a place where entrepreneurs can thrive. Our goal is to enable small and medium businesses to accelerate their growth by helping them access our world-class technology.”
One of the initiatives is the Networking Academy (NetAcad) program that aims at providing students hands-on digital skills to better prepare them for their career in the digital economy. The NetAcad program was launched in 1998 and ever since, nearly 700,000 students have participated in NetAcad courses across the continent.
Furthermore, as part of the company’s ambitious goal, Cisco plans to train up to one million additional students in Africa by 2025. According to the company, it will focus on training students for the next three years. This initiative will also be followed by reskilling initiatives for job seekers and active workforce.
In addition the student training, Cisco also plans to engage actively with employers to discover job opportunities that match with NetAcad students and alumni. Aligning with the plan, Cisco launched a talent bridge platform aiming at SMEs and professionals. The platform helps to match the skilled talents from NetAcad with the demand from Cisco’s partner ecosystem.
In November last year, Cisco launched its first EDGE Incubation Center in Pretoria, South Africa. The incubation center provides SMEs with state-of-the-art Cisco communication and collaboration, as well as training and enablement programs. Since the launching, Cisco has also expanded the EDGE incubation centers in Dube Trade Port, KZN, and the University of Nairobi, Kenya. The company is planning to expand its EDGE incubation centers to other countries in the coming months, including to Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria.