In a significant move towards achieving its goal of 95 per cent digital literacy by 2030 and fostering the economic resilience of Nigeria, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Computer Information System Company (CISCO).
This partnership aims to promote digital transformation and bridge the digital skills gap in the country.
The MoU was formally signed at the CISCO Networking Academy for Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) Partner Conference in Paris, with NITDA director-general, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi and CISCO Middle East and Africa Vice President, Reem Asaad leading the agreement. The signing ceremony witnessed the presence of numerous industry stakeholders from around the world.
By joining forces with CISCO, NITDA reinforces its commitment to addressing the digital skills gap in Nigeria. The MoU sets the stage for supporting the country’s digital transformation agenda and fostering digital skills training and development.
The CISCO Networking Academy operates as an IT skill-to-jobs programme that facilitates collaboration between public-private partnerships, delivering high-quality curriculum and inclusive workforce development programs for digital skills training.
Under the terms of the MOU, CISCO’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme will ensure the promotion and expansion of the CISCO Networking Academy programme for the benefit of Nigeria and its citizens.
This strategic collaboration between NITDA and CISCO promises to bring sustainability to various components of the national digital agenda while creating exceptional value for the country, its industries, and its people.
Representing Abdullahi, the acting director of NITDA’s digital literacy and capacity development department, Dr. Amina Sambo emphasised the significance of partnering with industry leaders like CISCO, stating that it empowers Nigerians with the knowledge and resources needed to participate in the national and global digital economies.
In addition to NITDA’s existing infrastructure and innovative initiatives across the country, the MoU ensures that CISCO deploys initiatives to enable entrepreneurs to acquire new skills, innovate, and establish customer connections.
The CISCO Incubation and Innovation Centre, known as CISCO Earn, Design, Go to market, Earn (EDGE), will serve as a catalyst for innovation and support digitisation initiatives. It will provide a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their technologies and equip indigenous innovators and entrepreneurs with resources and tools to develop secure, intelligent and connected solutions.
Expressing her enthusiasm about collaborating with NITDA to accelerate digitisation in Nigeria, Reem Asaad affirmed CISCO’s commitment to helping its customers and the global community overcome challenges that impact lives. She highlighted the transformative potential of the Cisco Networking Academy, which will unlock equal opportunities for education and career connections in diverse communities. By focusing on networking and cybersecurity, learners will be at the forefront of innovation, equipped with in-demand skills to develop ideas that will shape the future.
A notable highlight of the programme was the conferment of the prestigious CISCO Golden Bridge Award on NITDA, recognising Abdullahi’s outstanding contributions. The award serves as a testament to his exceptional leadership and dedication to driving Nigeria’s digital transformation and literacy.