The digital transformation of Argentina has begun – and Cisco is at the forefront of the change.

First though, it’s important to note that, Latin America faces some daunting statistics: 21 million Latin Americans will be unemployed by the end of this year, and at the same time, the region will need 449,152 IT professionals over the next four years to fill the IT skills gap. To close this gap, industry and government alone cannot go digital without people who know how to manage the network and use the software.

Cisco is helping, with support from Argentina’s new president Mauricio Macri. Recently named one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People and the Most Powerful President in Latin America by Time magazine, Macri has wasted no time initiating a much-needed digital transformation for his country, starting with technical training.

Just last month, I participated in the Argentina Business & Investment Forum in Buenos Aires. The high profile event was a groundbreaking initiative launched by Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and hosted by the Argentina Investment and Trade Promotion Agency. It was designed to highlight investment opportunities, attract foreign direct investment, and mark Argentina’s historical return to international markets.

While at the Forum I had the opportunity to be part of a keynote panel called the Innovation Imperative. This panel discussed how to inject further dynamism, entrepreneurship and innovation into the Argentinean economy. Panelists included, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, Mayor, City of Buenos Aires and Andres Ibarra, Minister of Modernization, Argentina. The conversation was focused on the steps Argentina is taking towards digital transformation, including closing the country’s digital skills gap.

To that end, this past May, Cisco and Argentina’s Ministry of Education signed an agreement to reduce the skills gap through teaching networking communication skills. The Cisco Networking Academy will teach technical and professional skills development training free of charge with support from INET (National Institute of Technical Education). Cisco’s Country Manager for Argentina, Gabriel Sakata: “Cisco is committed to supporting the development of the skillset on networking technology, as well as information technology. These two areas are essential for the country’s transformation.”

Now technical schools and institutes for professional development in Argentina are getting another boost that will help them meet the demand for tech-savvy employees. In September, the Ministry of Education and Cisco signed a second agreement, this time with the Municipality of Lanús. Lanús is a major industrial center that is part of Buenos Aires’ greater metropolitan area, and contains one of the largest medical centers in the region (the Eva Peron Medical Center).

Through this agreement, students who enroll in the vocational center at Eva Peron Medical Center will now learn how to use Telepresence technology for telemedicine as part of the nursing career path curriculum. This initiative will produce a generation of nursing school graduates who are fully prepared for jobs in modern, digitally transformed medical facilities. With these technical skills, the nursing school graduates will be able to get better jobs. They will also spread their expertise in telemedicine technology throughout Argentina, helping the entire country transform, and improving the quality of life for more and more patients of digitally equipped medical facilities.

And it all starts with Cisco’s commitment to technical training. Just another example of how we are working together to make the world a better place for everyone.


Jordi Botifoll

No Longer with Cisco