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Emerging Countries

I recently went to Nairobi, Kenya and Kigali, Rwanda to meet with some of Cisco’s employees, customers and partners.  I have a lot to share and this is the first in a series on what I learned and experienced.

I visited The Seed Institute Cisco Networking Academy on May 25th and it was a life changing experience in so many ways. Most of all it showed how emerging technologies can create opportunities by providing access to new skills. The Academy is in the Mwiki Slum in Kasarani, Nairobi and trains girls and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It is the first of its kind to train house girls and with the hope to help them get better jobs. More specifically, the goal is to train women and youth on ICT skills with two groups:

These girls and women receive the opportunity to change their lives as they can transition from part of the population who does not even get counted in national statistics to being able to get a job that requires IT skills.  Rosemary Muthoni, a graduate from the Academy, managed to get placed in a workshop for computer repair two weeks after completing the coursework.

The workshop where they learn basic IT skills

What I learned is that while this academy can start the process of helping, there is a lot more to be done to make it sustainable.  Some of the challenges they shared with me include:

Are there ways you can help around sustainability?  Please share your ideas here and let’s have a conversation on what is possible …

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  1. It’s not only about skills, but also about equipment. I know of 1 or 2 companies that specialise in providing used and throw-away computer equipment from the west to the third world, but the idea of recycling the equipment from the average business is not so widespread yet…


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