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Press Release -- February 10th, 2011
Source: Cisco Systems
Tags: Equipment

Cisco Helps Extend ICT Education into Rural South Africa With Launch of Community Knowledge Centers

As Part of Multiphase Clinton Global Initiative Commitment, Cisco Supports Strategies Designed to Enable Basic Human Needs, Access to Education, and Economic Opportunity

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 10 February 2011 – Cisco today announced the launch of 15 community knowledge centers in South Africa, funded by Cisco through its partners in the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).

Cisco worked with Inveneo to bring in the technology in the form of computers and networking equipment, with One Global Economy to install a Web portal that will contain local information, and with AppleSeeds Academy in conjunction with One Global Economy to train managers for the centers to make them relevant, sustainable and viable for the local communities. All 15 centers will offer the Cisco® Networking Academy® program in order to address the shortage of information and communications technology (ICT) skills in underserved areas of South Africa.

Highlights / Key Facts

  • As part of the CGI, Cisco is committed to partnering with nonprofit organizations – Inveneo, Teachers Without Borders, One Global Economy, Habitat for Humanity and others – to advance the concept of connected communities to alleviate poverty across sub-Saharan Africa. As part of this commitment, Cisco’s strategy is to work with existing and new international, regional and local nonprofit agencies. Cisco also uses a broad range of resources, including cash grants, product grants and technical assistance, as well as direct involvement by Cisco fellows and volunteers.
  • Today’s announcement represents another milestone in Cisco’s multiphase CGI commitment to support ICT strategies designed to help citizens gain access to basic human needs, education, health care and economic opportunity in South Africa. Officiating at a ceremony held in Gauteng to mark the launch of this project were Gauteng Minister for Health and Social Development Lenthen Ntombi Mekgwe, Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor Mondli Gungubele and  Cisco South Africa General Manager David Meads.
  • Cisco’s commitment as part of CGI is to invest $10 million in six countries in Africa, namely, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cameroon and Nigeria. Cisco started the community center initiative in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa, and this will be replicated in the remainder of these countries.
  • Networking Academy provides ICT skills to students around the world to improve their career and economic opportunities. Networking academies operate in high schools, colleges, universities, technical and military schools, and community-based organizations.

Executive Quotes:

    • Altaaf Hamid, regional  lead South Africa, Emerging Southern African countries, West and Central Africa for the Cisco Networking Academy

“Creating the right facilities to support ICT growth in underserved communities throughout South Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa is becoming a critical challenge for the government and organizations alike. The community centers will provide access to amongst other things vital IT skills training and health care, thereby accelerating socio-economic growth that will ultimately help to transform the entire continent.”

    • Dr. Harold Wesso, acting director-general of communications and CEO of e-Skills Institute

“In the context of the vision of the e-Skills Institute, I am happy to say that we are working very closely with Cisco on different levels, and once again we recognize the work being done here today. We praise the work carried out by Siyafunda in increasing the e-skill base within the local communities. We need local champions at a community level to NOT just ensure that the ICT access or “e” centers are open from 9 to 5 and that the equipment is working but to help and encourage our communities to provide better access and to  use the wide range of information available and to generate new information aimed at improving the quality of life.”

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