The Cisco Networking Academy (“NetAcad”) has had a 27% increase in the number of students trained across the Middle East and Africa (“MEA”), over a one-year period. A total of 378,900 students in the region were trained in FY20, compared to 297,800 students in FY19.
Since 1997, NetAcad has served as a platform to train, upskill and develop human capital. Beginning as a single school, NetAcad has now developed into an ever-expanding community of students, educators, employers, NGOs, Cisco employees and customers working to build a digitally-ready future.
Enabling Distance Learning During the Covid19 Pandemic
The Cisco Networking Academy was designed to be a globally-connected platform that enables students to learn from anywhere. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cisco has been working around-the-clock to provide the tools and resources required to move to a fully virtual learning environment.
For educators, Cisco has provided free meeting tools and information to get virtual classrooms up and running. At the core of enabling remote teaching is Cisco’s Webex platform – combining audio-visual communications with a collaborative digital learning environment to ensure continuity. With the use of Webex, NetAcad students can continue to access classes virtually and gain proficiencies in critical areas including networking, IoT and cybersecurity.
In June 2020, Cisco introduced free training on ICT skills courses to citizens across Africa and the Middle East. Upon successful completion of a course, each student receives a certification from Cisco to help build their personal career path – whether starting from scratch or re-igniting their passion for a particular industry.
Striving to Secure MEA’s Digital Future
Cisco’s NetAcad is helping to futureproof job roles, and aid the transition towards more digitally-focused economies. Since the programme was introduced to countries in the MEA region, a total of 1,632,500 students have been trained.
Today, there are 1,627 active academies running in 60 countries across MEA, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) and Saudi Arabia. Over the past 12 months, over 3,500 academic instructors in the region have facilitated the teaching of digital skills through NetAcad.
Dedication to Making Digital Skills Accessible to All
At the heart of Cisco’s NetAcad programme lies a commitment to championing diversity and building an inclusive digital future for all. In the Middle East and Africa, the programme has one of the highest female participation rates. In FY20, 27% of students in the region were female.
“While developing digital skills was previously on the agenda for many organisations and individuals around the world, the pandemic has propelled new conversations around the importance of upskilling into the spotlight. Residents across the region are recognising the need to secure their futures by gaining digital competencies. In doing so, they are also exposed to greater opportunities within the job market. Our commitment to students remains that, irrespective of age or geography, we will continue to bridge the gap and make upskilling an attainable opportunity for all,” said Reem Asaad, Vice President, Cisco Middle East & Africa.