US singer Usher, Wawira Njiru of Kenya and Cisco CEO Chuck Robins at the Mandela 100 Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg. Picture: CISCO
US singer Usher, Wawira Njiru of Kenya and Cisco CEO Chuck Robins at the Mandela 100 Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg. Picture: CISCO

Global technology group Cisco will provide digital technology training to 1-million people in Africa in the next five years. This may result in possible job placements within the company or its business partners once completed.

In total, Cisco plans to train 10-million people across the world.

Cisco chair and CEO Chuck Robbins said the group has been running a training programme for 21 years and in the past 10 years has trained 9-million students.

“We fundamentally believe that meeting basic human needs, getting people connected and educated is a big step towards creating inclusive opportunity,” said Robbins.

Cisco is targeting both graduates and nongraduates.

Clayton Naidoo, Cisco’s general manager for sub-Saharan Africa, said the company was “committed to accelerating global problem solving by supporting people who innovate as technologists, think as entrepreneurs, and act as social change agents. With digitisation and the Internet of Things (IoT), good ideas now have the ability to make a difference more quickly than ever before.” 

Robbins said that three years ago the company created a programme called Cisco digital acceleration and partnered with heads of states in 20 countries. The programme encompasses a various initiatives that were aligned with countries where Cisco operated.

“If we are successful in SA, we have to be good corporate citizens and contribute in helping to achieve the objectives of the country. We look at initiatives to accelerate GDP, drive entrepreneurship, leverage technology to deliver expertise and also look at how we work with service providers and telecoms companies to deliver more broadband connectivity,” said Robbins.

He said Cisco would probably bring the digital acceleration programme to SA. “Right now we are thinking through what it will look like in SA and we are probably a few months away from bringing that into life.”

mochikot@businesslive.co.za