Cisco to equip displaced Nigerians with digital skills



from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
Nigeria Bureau
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – CISCO has entered into an agreement to provide digital skills and technical education to displaced people (IDPs) and communities hosting them in Nigeria.

The partnership by the global technology firm and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) focuses on the northeast, which is the epicentre of terror by Islamist groups, mainly the Boko Haram and Islamic State-West Africa (ISWAP).

This programme is to launch at three pilot schools in Borno state, where more than 2,3 million people have been displaced.

In the pilot phase, 150 DSPs and host community members will benefit from digital upskilling opportunities through Cisco Networking Academy, one of the world’s longest-running information technology skills-to-jobs programmes.

“Technology is an equalizer, and it is crucial for us to develop initiatives that make it accessible to all,” said Brian Tippens, Senior Vice President and Chief Social Impact Officer at Cisco.

The partnership has been sealed in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

“Together with IOM, our aim is to equip people with digital skills that open new opportunities for them in the job market. That way, we can help alleviate poverty and address prolonged crises,” Tippens assured.

The abovementioned agreement provides a framework for further collaboration between Cisco and IOM to provide digital upskilling opportunities to communities in crisis.

This includes the construction and equipment of schools and learning centres, upgrading of teachers’ competencies and the development of further programmes with the private sector to provide on-the-job training opportunities for displaced youths.

Laurent de Boeck, IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission, said durable solutions in northeastern Nigeria could be achieved through people-centred transformative initiatives, hence the memorandum of understanding (MoU).

“This MoU is a testament of our shared vision of leveraging digital skills to help displaced people in northeastern Nigeria achieve socioeconomic resilience,” de Boeck said.

Besides the millions displaced by violence, thousands have been killed during the campaign by the militants to force the establishment of an Islamic State.

In addition to Borno, the states of Adamawa and Yobe are also impacted.

– CAJ News

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