Cisco is a key participant in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), contributing both people and financial resources to implement information and communication technology in educational institutions across the continent. The NEPAD mission is to create a socioeconomic development framework to help reduce poverty, increase sustainable growth, and accelerate the empowerment of women. The e-Schools initiative is a program designed to help close the digital divide between Africa and the developed world.

The NEPAD e-Schools Demonstration Project is a multicountry initiative focused on imparting technical skills to young African students in secondary schools. Cisco is one of five companies that are participating in this partnership to introduce students to self-directed learning applications, collaboration, Web and e-mail access, and other hands-on technology. The Cisco team is also providing training for teachers and school administrators to help ensure that each school can effectively take advantage of these new capabilities.

Cisco is installing networking equipment for Internet access and satellite connectivity in several schools in Rwanda, Ghana, Mauritius, South Africa, Senegal, and Algeria. During the next 12 months, Cisco will provide networking technology to 55 schools in 15 countries across Africa.

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