CISCO to train 1 million people in new Africa digital workforce program

Cisco has outlined its commitment to support the digitization of Africa’s communities, businesses, and governments through several initiatives for skills and talent development, innovation and job creation.

Speaking during the Cisco Connect conference, Country General Manager (GM) for Cisco East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, David Bunei 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,”

Skills and Talent Development:

Cisco has committed to training additional one million students over the next five years in Africa through the Networking Academy Program. In Cisco’s vision, technology enables inclusion and opportunities for people. For more than 20 years, Cisco has invested in educating and upskilling students,  graduates and unemployed youth through its Networking Academy (NetAcad). NetAcad provides students hands-on digital skills to prepare them for careers in the digital economy.

Cisco has set an ambitious goal: to train a total of 1 million additional students by 2025 in Africa.

  • During the next three years, it will focus on training students. This will be followed by reskilling initiatives for active workforce and job seekers, based on content from Cisco NetAcad.
  • Through NetAcad, Cisco intends to support the creation of Digital Learning Hubs in public libraries, accessible by the local population.
  • Also, Cisco plans to actively engage with employers to identify job opportunities that align to the skills of NetAcad students and alumni. In South Africa, in April 2019, Cisco launched a talent bridge platform aimed at small and medium businesses and professionals. Talent Bridge helps match supply, the skilled talent pool coming from NetAcad, with demand, that is entry-level jobs available in Cisco’s partner ecosystem.

African Partner Repair Centres

The firm also announced plans to launch a Repair Partner program. The aim is to work with selected distributors who will repair and restore Cisco hardware and make high quality, refurbished technology accessible, especially for small and medium-sized organizations. By investing in repair centres in Africa, Cisco intends to contribute to job creation, skills development, fighting counterfeiting and promoting Cisco’s Authorised Channel.

In addition to repair, Cisco intends for the centers to carry out testing, quality engineering, fulfillment, process management and procurement, as well as inventory control, serving customers in Africa.

“Our goal is to create value through ‘glocal’ manufacturing and channel models. By glocal, we mean utilizing global manufacturing practices with local execution,” Bunei added.