By Emma Okonji
Global technology player, Cisco, has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen digital skills in the country as the company celebrates the establishment of 200 Networking Academies (NetAcads) in Nigeria, making Nigeria the country with the highest number of Cisco NetAcads in Africa.
The celebration took place at a NetAcad Demo and roundtable session held recently at Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba, Lagos.
Founded in 1998, the Cisco Networking Academy is a comprehensive e-learning program that provides an ever-expanding community of students, employers, educators’, NGOs and employees with the requisite technical and entrepreneurial skills required to transform the world for the better.
The celebratory event and demo session which had in attendance, the Chief People Officer, Cisco, Francine Katsoudas, and other senior executives of Cisco, provided an opportunity for NetAcad students to demonstrate their technical skills acquired from the training they received.
Demos showcased included a smart IoT solutions system, the assembling of a computer by students from Queens and Kings College, Lagos. Other interesting demos included a robotics demo by NetAcad students who won the National Robotics Competition as well as a demo from the runner-up of the 2019 Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, who won a sum of $10,000 for their REALDRIP solution.
Commenting at the NetAcad demo and roundtable session, the General Manager of Cisco Nigeria and West African Countries, Olakunle Oloruntimehin, said: “At Cisco, we have come to understand that technology is truly powerful when combined with education. We are proud to say that for over 20 years, the Cisco Networking Academy has impacted the lives of over 9 million students globally. Our courses are designed to mold technical talent and hone our students’ skills for innovation in digitisation. In partnership with a number of educators and instructors at 200 academies in Nigeria, we are constantly working to deliver the best curricula to help train these students”.
The roundtable session ended with an announcement from Cisco on its new three-year partnership deal with international advocacy organisation, Global Citizen, to power the movement to end extreme poverty. The partnership involves the company’s commitment to funding and technology to help end poverty, playing a vital role in making progress towards the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development and ending extreme poverty by 2030.
Speaking on the partnership, Oloruntimehin, said: “Cisco is extremely happy to partner with an organization like Global Citizen who shares an affinity for driving global change, especially with the use of technology and innovation. Through this multi-year partnership with Global Citizen, Cisco will equip advocates and activists around the world with the 21st century skills and tools they will need to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the world’s most marginalized people.”