Rural SA youth upskilled in ICT


Students enjoy use of computers

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa has completed a pilot project focused on imparting much-needed information and computing technology (ICT) skills to people in unconnected rural areas.

Some 41 students in the Eastern Cape have graduated from the programme.

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), Cisco, Software AG, International Labour Organisation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority,(MICT SETA, and National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa celebrated the graduation of the students from the Lindamahle Innovation Centre.

Mlindi Mashologu, Deputy Director General Information Society and Capacity Development at DCDT, welcomed the tangible results of Cisco and Lindamahle efforts to provide education and upskilling opportunities, and nurture the next generation of empowered, digitally savvy professionals.

“These young people play an important role in our national digital transformation agenda, and it’s through initiatives such as Cisco Networking Academy that they receive effective training and upskilling to take them and their communities forward,” he said.

The pilot programme took place over a 12-month period in the OR Tambo District, Eastern Cape where students received industry-recognised certifications in networking, programming and cyber security.

Of the 41 graduating students, 32 are unemployed young women and mothers from the surrounding community.

They excelled in Networking Academy courses, achieving a 100 percent pass rate and 96 percent cum laude achievement rate despite challenging socio-economic conditions faced by rural youth.

“These young women and our team at Lindamahle worked extremely hard to reach this important milestone for our community,” said Zine Nkukwana, Chief Executive Officer of Lindamahle.

Lindamahle’s programme was designed to enable students to follow two specific career pathways that will foster economic empowerment and digital connectivity in their rural communities.

Smangele Nkosi, Cisco’s General Manager in South Africa, commented, “It’s notable that Lindamahle’s graduating class is primarily composed of women. Female representation in the technology skills sector is paramount.”

Cisco Networking Academy is one of the longest-standing IT skills-to-jobs programmes in the world, having reached 20,5 million learners in 190 countries since 1997.

In South Africa, it has trained 257 753 students, 50 percent of them female.

– CAJ News

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