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."
Program Reaches 51 Countries
(* denotes 11 participating countries not included in the U.N.'s list of LDCs.)