Over 1,000 leaders from business, government, civil society and media from 62 countries participated in the WEF Summit for Middle East and North Africa that took place in the beautiful and mystical city of Marrakech, Morocco at the end of October this year.
Delegates from Cisco participated actively in this year’s Forum that carried the theme “Purpose, Resilience and Prosperity”. And participants discussed ideas, thoughts and experiences on how to improve integration and collaboration across the region and how to address the improvement of education and infrastructure to boost and drive economic prosperity.
With 360 million people in the Middle East, most of them youth, majority of delegates agreed that there is an urgent need to revisit current education, infrastructure and heath care services and explore how and where technology can play a key role in improving them. Cisco’s delegation, lead by Yvon Le Roux, was perfectly aligned around these same topics and the critical role that the network and communications technology play to transform the future of the region.
During the event we participated in key discussions in both public and private sessions. Cisco’s delegation participated in the “Technology and Competitiveness” session that discussed broadband penetration, market regulation, business opportunities and how to make connectivity widely available in the region. Cisco delegates also took part in the Driving Healthcare Through Technology” session and on the Education Summit.
Executives from Cisco’s delegation give their perspective on the major themes raised at WEF MENA 2010:
Yvon Le Roux, vice president Cisco Africa and Levant
Fadi Moubarak, Cisco manager for Lebanon, Iraq and Syria
Wayne Hill, Cisco’s general manager for United Arab Emirates, UAE
Anthony Vonsee, General Manager Cisco in North Africa and Levant
Ever since its inauguration in the spring of 2008, Namal College has been looked at as an institution which brings high quality education for youth living in Punjab.
Imran Khan and Aamir Matin at the recent Cisco Networking Academy inauguration
Referred to as the brainchild of Imran Khan, the famous Pakistani philantrophist and politican, it is the first higher education institute which is offering diploma courses and bachelors degrees – including a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering -- in rural Pakistan.
Located some 30 kilometers from the city of Mianwali and 3 hours drive from Islamabad, Namal College is affiliated with the University of Bradford in the UK, which also granted it Associate College status.
The senior management of Namal College intends to link academic programs with professional training and reached out to Cisco to join the Cisco Networking Academy program.
Attended by Imran Khan and Cisco Pakistan general manager Aamir Matin, Cisco Networking Academy at Namal College was officially launched around end of September this year. The first group of 20 students are joining the Cisco Networking Academy community in Pakistan, with current count of close to 5,000 students and 52 academies across the country.
We helped the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) kick off their “China 2.0: Rise of a Digital Superpower” conference in Beijing today with a discussion over telepresence that reconnected two of the pioneering engineers who worked to bring connectivity to China -- Dr. Les Cottrell of the Stanford Linear Accelator Center (SLAC) and Prof. Xu Rengshang of Beijing’s Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP).
Back in 1991 teams from both academic institutions worked with ‘dogged perserverence’ over a 3 year period to establish a link to aid their research, working with AT&T using DECnet over a satellite connection from Point Reyes, north of San Francisco, over to Beijing Airport, and the using several subsequent hops to connect to IHEP itself. Les told me a little bit about his fascinating journey in bringing the Internet to Beijing after the telepresence session in San Jose today (the actual conference is taking place in the Grand Millenium Hotel in Beijing for the next couple of days):
As of last week, the Kyrgyz National Information Technology Center is home to the first IPv6 lab in the Central Asian region. Donated by Cisco, the lab helps train IT specialist in Kyrgyzstan on next generation internet protocol (IPv6) technologies.
As delegates convene for the Fifth Annual United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Meeting today, a busy agenda is awaiting them, spanning topics such as the “Access and Diversity”, “The future of privacy”, “Protecting the consumer in an online world”, the status of IPv6 around the globe, multilingual internet, digital inclusion, child safety, cloud computing and many others.