During the past five years, the Least-Developed Countries Initiative offered valuable IT education to more than 35,000 students, approximately 30 percent of them female. An effort to bridge the digital divide between developed and least-developed countries, this initiative was a result of the G-8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan, in 2000.

Cisco partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and other organizations to provide technical training through our Networking Academy sites in 51 developing countries. In FY2006, we focus training on gender opportunity, workforce development, and financial sustainability. The goal is to accelerate progress toward full integration of these countries into the world economy.

Beth Murora, a student from Rwanda who was six months pregnant with twin boys when she enrolled in the Cisco program, traveled from Rwanda to Ethiopia to receive the training. She says, "I intend to use the knowledge gained through the Networking Academy to help raise women out of poverty with the technical training to run organizations and develop businesses, and a communications network that enables information sharing among women's forums."

Initiative Facts

  • 206 Networking Academy sites
  • 571 instructors
  • 11,867 CCNA participating students
  • 7,228 CCNA 4 graduates qualified for networking industry jobs
  • 3,263 (27.5 percent) CCNA participating female students

Program Reaches 51 Countries

Afghanistan Angola Bangladesh
Benin* Bhutan Botswana*
Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia
Cameroon* Cape Verde Central African Republic
Chad Cote d'Ivoire* Democratic Republic of Congo
Djibouti Ethiopia Eritrea
Gambia Ghana* Guinea
Guinea-Bissau Haiti Kenya*
Laos Lesotho Liberia
Madagascar Malawi Maldives
Mali Mauritania Mauritius*
Mozambique Namibia* Nepal
Niger Nigeria* Rwanda
Samoa Sao Tome and Principe Senegal
Sierra Leone Seychelles Swaziland
Tanzania* Togo Uganda
Yemen Zimbabwe*  

(* denotes 11 participating countries not included in the U.N.'s list of LDCs.)

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