MOROCCO - April 23, 2008 - Cisco today announced that its Networking Academy has achieved a key milestone with a record 47 percent increase in the total number of students enrolled in Morocco in the past 12 months. Since the program's inception, this brings the total number of Networking Academy students over 7,500. Each student undergoes a comprehensive technology-based training curriculum that can provide them with skills which they can utilize in their future professional careers.
The first Networking Academy in Morocco started in Ain Bordja in February 2001, long before Cisco's office in Morocco was established. Today, the total number of Networking Academies has grown to 39 throughout the entire Kingdom with many more new Academies across Morocco to be announced in the very near future.
Additionally, Amy Christen, Cisco's vice president of Corporate Affairs visited Morocco earlier this month and met with some of the Kingdom's most influential decision makers in the education and training sectors. Ms. Christen officiated at the signing of a strategic agreement with the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research in the presence of Her Excellency Mrs. Tricha Latifa, general secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Mr. Belcadi Said director of CNRST, and vice presidents of major Moroccan universities and colleges.
As part of the agreement the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research will work closer with Cisco Networking Academy in Morocco to collaborate on efforts to help reduce the IT skills gap in the Moroccan workforce and the setting up of new Networking Academies in all public universities throughout the Kingdom.
During her visit, Ms. Christen also met with His Excellency Mr. Jamal RHMANI, Minister of Labor and Vocational training in Morocco. Both officials discussed the various ways advanced collaborative technologies, backed with Cisco's global experience, can be supportive of the Ministry efforts in driving Morocco's human capital and skills development initiatives to the next level.
"We are pleased the Networking Academy is gaining tremendous momentum throughout Morocco's education community as well as amongst its leadership. This alignment of visions will act as a great boast to Cisco's efforts to contribute to the Moroccan knowledge economy and support its long-term investments in the Kingdom," said Abderrahmane Mounir, Cisco general manager in Morocco. "Increasing the knowledge and skills of the local population grows the talent pool available to Information Communication Technology (ICT) companies throughout the region, and contributes to national competitiveness, paving the way for new e-learning initiatives that can act as a catalyst in the Kingdom's ambitious growth and development plans," he added.
With 31 percent of the enrolled students in Morocco being female, the Networking Academy program has also been highly successful in bridging the digital 'gender' gap in the Kingdom. Empowering women with the technical knowledge and demand-driven networking skills helps to ensure a gender sensitive policy environment, thus giving women a competitive edge in the job market. "The Cisco Networking Academy Program helps to bridge the digital divide by equipping students with Internet Technology skills essential in a global economy. The comprehensive e-learning program integrates face-to-face teaching with a Web-based curriculum, online assessment tools, and hands-on laboratory exercises in this blended learning environment," said Nevine El Kadi, Middle East & Africa Networking Academy Program manager in Cisco.
Studies worldwide show a gap between the information technology (IT) jobs available and enough qualified candidates to fill them. The Cisco Networking Academy provides IT skills to students, globally, to improve their career and economic opportunities. By providing technical skills and enabling students to pursue higher education in engineering, computer science, and related fields, the Cisco Networking Academy can also help students develop their country and local economies.
About Cisco Networking Academy Program
Cisco's Networking Academy program runs in high schools, colleges, universities, technical and military schools, community-based organizations and government organizations. Its curricula combines the theory and practice of designing, developing and implementing the networks that underpin businesses and other organizations in addition to its advanced technology curricula in areas like security, wireless, IP telephony, equipping candidates with the latest technology skills.
Over the past decade, the Networking Academy program has over 11,000 participating academies and has touched more than 2 million students in 166 countries globally.
For more details about Cisco Networking Academy, visit: http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac227/about_cisco_corp_citi_net_academies.html