Casablanca, Morocco –9 January 2017 Cisco is at the forefront of investing not only in the technology required for Morocco to be competitive with the rest of the world, but also in the skills needed to implement this technology in Morocco and North Africa as a whole, through the Cisco corporate flagship programme, the Cisco Networking Academy.
“Since its inception in 2001, the Cisco Networking Academy has delivered ICT training to 52,344 distinct students, with 35% of them being female,” says Abdelilah Nejjari, General Manager, Cisco Maghreb and WCA.
“We have a major partnership with Office of Vocational Training and Job promotion (OFPPT). Our CCNA and IT Essentials courses are offered to the OFPPT IT students as part of their degree. In 2015, we launched the CCNA Security academic certification and trained 60 instructors on this track.”
The Cisco Networking Academy continues to excel in Morocco with 11,767 distinct students, of which 33% female, being trained in FY16 at the level of vocational and high education sectors. As a result, we are extending our partnership with OFPPT to include an entrepreneurship course, Cyber Security training, and IOT to all IT students in the public vocational sector next year. Education within the IT industry has seen a peak in Morocco. Some achievements, include the annual NetRiders winners for the Turkey MENA region arising from Morocco for two consecutive years, both winners trained by the OFPPT.
The World Economic Forum’s Education Skills Report, published in January this year, suggested that in six years’ time, there will be 95 million too many unskilled workers for the available jobs and 40 million too few skilled workers for the jobs available worldwide. Given that the two great equalisers are education and the Internet, it is fair to say that Africa is at the center of this crisis, with access to the Internet, content and infrastructure a very real issue. Added to this is the prediction that the working population in Africa is set to double by 2020, becoming the largest worldwide by 2040.
In the case of North Africa, this year has seen a peak in education within the IT industry because of digital transformation caused by more people, things and devices being connected to the Internet through the Internet of Things (IoT). This has also caused an urgency for North Africa to ensure that the necessary skill sets exist to sustain this growth and in steps in Cisco’s Networking Academy.
“For Cisco, providing this free training is about using technology to change the way people learn and develop and contributing to the skilling and job readiness of Morocco’s future workforce,” Nejjari adds. “If you grow gross domestic product (GDP) at one percent per annum, it typically takes a generation to double the standard of living. If you could drive GDP consistently above five percent, it would take about 15 years to do the same. It is only by ensuring that Morocco citizens are trained with the right skills to fill the jobs necessary to compete with the rest of the world that this would be a possibility for the country.”