As part of effort to achieve a mandate of 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030 and powering the economic resilience of Nigeria through effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) with the Computer Information System Company (CISCO) aimed at promoting digital transformation as well as bridging the digital skills gap in the country.
The agreement which was signed at the CISCO Networking Academy for Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) Partner Conference in Paris was sanctioned by the NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE and the Vice President of CISCO Middle East & Africa, Reem Asaad in the presence of other industry stakeholders in the world.
In strengthening the Agency’s efforts in bridging the digital skills gap in the country, the MOU signed between the two organisations is expected to support the nation’s digital transformation agenda and contribute to digital skills training and development.
The CISCO Networking Academy is an IT skill-to-jobs program that ensures collaboration between public-private partnerships in offering digital skills training through high-quality curriculum and inclusive workforce development programmes.
The signed MOU forms part of CISCO’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program, which will ensure that the CISCO Networking Academy program is promoted and expanded to benefit the country and its citizenry.
The strategic collaboration between the two organisations would ensure sustainability to other elements of national digital agenda and create exceptional value for the country, its industries and its citizens.
Inuwa, who was represented by the Agency’s Acting Director, Digital Literacy and Capacity Development Department, Dr. Amina Sambo, said that “by collaborating with industry leaders like CISCO, we can empower and equip Nigerians with the knowledge and resources they need to participate in the national and global digital economies”.
In addition to the various infrastructural and innovative initiatives deployed by NITDA in the country, the MOU would ensure that CISCO deploys initiatives that will enable entrepreneurs in the country to gain new skills, innovate and build customer connections.
The CISCO Incubation and Innovation Centre known as the CISCO Earn, Design, Go to Market, Earn (EDGE) will be used to stimulate innovation and support digitization initiatives thereby providing a space where entrepreneurs in the country can showcase technologies.
It will further provide resources and tools to indigenous innovators and entrepreneurs in the country to help them develop more secure, intelligent and connected solutions.
Expressing her excitement at working with NITDA in accelerating digitisation in Nigeria, Reem asserted that CISCO has a responsibility to its customers and the global community to help them solve challenges impacting lives.
“Cisco Networking Academy is a powerful force for change. This initiative will unlock equitable opportunities for education and career connections to diverse communities. The focus on networking and cyber security will place learners at the forefront of innovation, equipping them with in-demand skills to develop ideas that will power the future,” she added.
The highlight of the programme was the conferment of the prestigious CISCO Golden Bridge Award on NITDA in recognition of the extraordinary contributions of the Director General, Kashifu Inuwa.