By Alfie Hamid, Regional Manager: Corporate Affairs at Cisco
Stats SA revealed that unemployment rates in South Africa have hit a record high of 26, 7% confirming that the country will need to seriously rethink its centers of economic growth and consider an alternative option – such as country digitisation for growth.
A central factor to this will be the Internet of Things (IoT). WEF’s ‘The Future of Jobs’ report stated that “given the upcoming pace and scale of disruption brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, without targeted action today to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with futureproof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality, and businesses with a shrinking consumer.”
Surprisingly, worldwide there is no structured IoT curriculum, which is one of the reasons why we established the Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad), Cisco’s flagship CSR project where we partner with Government, schools, NGOs, colleges and universities and afford students the opportunity to become IT networking professionals through online instructor-led training or self-paced hands-on lab exercises. Upon completion, students receive Industry Accredited Certification allowing them to graduate from the academy fully trained and immediately employable. This improves their career prospects while meeting the demand for professionals in their fields. In addition, Cisco works with IT lecturers to ensure that they are armed with the most up-to-date technological skills that the industry has to offer.
As part of our flagship CSR project, together with the Central University of Technology and in partnership with Government and our other partners, this week, 23 – 25 May 2016, Cisco hosts the annual African Networking Academy Safari in Bloemfontein where over 150 IT lecturers from across Southern Africa will attend. With this year’s theme of ‘creating a new generation of global problem solvers through the adoption of the Internet of Things’, we will demonstrate how the IoT can be introduced to various other departments from Humanities through to Law. It is undeniable that the IoT will be inextricably intertwined with economic development on the Continent, as more objects, machines and people become part of the digital revolution. Providing IT training courses that are immediately relevant and that anticipate where internet connectivity and digital solutions are headed will prove invaluable to addressing our Continent’s skill shortage and will ensure that we can fully benefit from and be prepared for the future.
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