Cisco is hosting its Cisco Connect conference in Sun City today and one of the major talking points at the conference was the Networking Academy (NetAcad) Program.

Through this initiative, 700 000 students have received hands-on digital skills training since 1998 but today Cisco has upped the ante.

The firm has set the ambitious goal of training another one million students in Africa by 2025.

In pursuit of achieving this goal Cisco will focus on providing students with digital training. Following this, the firm will launch reskilling initiatives for active members of the work force and job seekers.

“Through NetAcad, Cisco intends to support the creation of Digital Learning Hubs in public libraries, accessible by the local population,” said the firm.

Of course, training folks up is one thing, insuring they have the correct training for jobs the market is demanding is another.

For that reason Cisco will be engaging with employers to gauge what training it should focus on.

“Cisco plans to actively engage with employers to identify job opportunities that align to the skills of NetAcad students and alumni. In South Africa, in April 2019, Cisco launched a talent bridge platform aimed at small and medium businesses and professionals. Talent Bridge helps match supply, the skilled talent pool coming from NetAcad, with demand, that is entry-level jobs available in Cisco‚Äôs partner ecosystem,” the firm said.

We’re keen to see this training happen and hopeful that Cisco can reach its target. That having been said, Google managed to train one million Africans in a year so over a six-year period we’re confident Cisco will reach its goal.