Cisco has announced its goal to provide digital skills training to 25 million learners over the next ten years through its Cisco Networking Academy programme. By 2025, 97 million new jobs will be created due to advances in technology and automation. Cisco is helping millions of people around the globe gain access to those jobs by empowering the workforce of the future with education and career opportunities through its Networking Academy.

Founded in 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It continues to be one of the longest-standing IT skills-to-jobs programmes in the world. The Cisco Networking Academy provides high-quality IT courses, learning simulators, and hands-on learning opportunities via a learning platform to support instructors and engage learners in 190 countries. To date, over 17.5 million global learners have taken Cisco Networking Academy courses to gain digital skills. Additionally, 95% of students that have taken Cisco certification-aligned courses have attributed obtaining a job or education opportunity to the Cisco Networking Academy.

Since the introduction of the Cisco Networking Academy in Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 1.07 million people have been trained and upskilled.

During Cisco’s 2022 fiscal year alone, more than 345,000 people were enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses across 50 countries in the region. These students were supported by approximately 2,427 instructors, working across 906 academies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Many of these people were trained in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. In Nigeria, the programme has upskilled 411,194 people, in South Africa, 189,272 people benefitted from the programme, and in Kenya, 104,978 people received digital skills training. The 2022 cohort shows that the programme is growing from strength to strength, increasing its ability to train people at scale. There are currently 123,132 people enrolled in Nigeria, and 29,558 enrolled in Kenya.

The 2022 cohort also shows that the Networking Academy is making significant progress towards the meaningful inclusion and upliftment of women in the technology industry. In South Africa, 61% of the current intake of 82,219 students are female. This dedication to inclusivity also translates to instructors, where out of a total of 1,127 instructors, 574 were female (51%).

With 50 academies in Kenya, 228 in Nigeria, and 172 in South Africa, it’s clear that the programme is well-positioned to provide skills training to prepare the region for in-demand digital jobs.

We are very proud of the Cisco Networking Academy’s regional achievements where they have succeeded in bridging digital divides for underrepresented and underserved communities with partners who share the same values. These significant partnerships comprise educational institutions, governments, corporations, and NGOs. Our shared purpose is to drive an inclusive future for all. To this end, our goal is to empower 25 million global learners with digital and cybersecurity skills over the next 10 years.Hani Raad, Managing Director, Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa