The August 12 issue of Forbes magazine features Cisco’s investment to fuel job creation and economic development in the Palestinian information and communications technology (ICT) industry.
“We do this because we want to change the world. And we don’t do it on a small scale. It’s nice to help a village, but the key is how do you help a country?” Cisco CEO John Chambers says in Forbes.
In 2008, Cisco began outsourcing projects from its Israeli office to three companies in the Palestine Territories. Those firms have since reported a 65 percent increase in their workforces.
Forbes contributor Richard Behar writes, “Cisco’s efforts created a ripple effect, bringing in other American tech giants, which also use their Israel offices to work across the border. And as U.S. companies got Palestinian companies comfortable with working with entities based in Israel, large Israeli tech companies have been able to establish relationships, too. … HP now outsources some of its research and development to the West Bank. Microsoft Israel has started putting Palestinian engineers in Ramallah on its payroll.”
Indeed, according to a June 2012 report on the Palestinian Investment Commitment by Mission Measurement, Palestinian ICT firms reported a 64 percent increase in international client work from 2009 to 2012.
Cisco ultimately contributed US$15 million to the initiative, including millions of dollars in incubation, venture capital, and equity funding for ICT companies, and a capacity building program for entrepreneurs.
Read the complete Forbes article featuring Cisco’s Palestine Investment Commitment.
In a separate piece, Behar describes Cisco’s Tamkeen.net capacity building program for Palestinian entrepreneurs, which provides training and mentoring for CEOs and managers. Behar attended two of the training sessions “in rooms filled with Palestinian CEOs and mid-level managers being coached by Israeli Jewish tech experts.” Seventy Palestinians from 24 different companies have participated in 100 days of trainings since 2011.
Read about the Tamkeen.net capacity building program in Forbes.
The video below features Tareq Maayah, founder of Ramallah-based Exalt Technologies, one of the three companies that undertook outsourcing work from Cisco.