The United Nations Development Programme''s Asia Pacific Development
Information Programme, of APDIP, and Cisco Systems, Inc., have announced an
innovative partnership to bring Internet education to students in developing countries in
the Asia Pacific region.
APDIP and Cisco Systems will jointly fund and set up ten
Cisco Networking Academies in nine developing countries in the region to provide students
with advanced IT curricula to leverage the enormous opportunities created by the Internet
while creating a qualified talent pool for building and maintaining networks.
The partnership between UNDP and Cisco Systems builds upon
NetAid, a global project that harnesses the Internet to battle extreme poverty in the
world. UNDP is the world''s premier provider of grant assistance to improve living
conditions for the poor in underdeveloped countries. Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader
in networking for the Internet.
"The Networking Academy Program is a pivotal point in
our vision to use the Internet to bring new opportunities to the developing world, and to
find new tools to defeat poverty. We are looking at this initial set as a pilot to be
eventually expanded to other regions," said Gabriel Accascina, regional coordinator
of APDIP in Kuala Lumpur, who also coordinates the long-term strategy for the Cisco-UNDP
"The information economy will demand an unprecedented
level of technology literacy from tomorrow''s workers. Yet in many Asia Pacific countries
there is a severe shortage of trained networking specialists. While IT curricula are
becoming more commonplace in developed countries, colleges and universities in developing
countries are often not able to provide up-to- date IT curricula due to a lack of trained
staff and equipment. Unless this changes, these countries run the risk of being left
behind in the information age, widening the gap between rich and poor countries,"
said Phillips J. Young, resident coordinator of the United Nations Systems Operational
Activities for Development in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, at a press conference in
Richard Freemantle, senior vice president, Asia Pacific,
Cisco Systems says, "Information technology, and particularly the Internet, is
becoming a key differentiator for companies and countries. The two fundamental equalizers
in life today are the Internet and education. Which is why the Cisco Networking Academy
Program is so viable for developing nations. One way for these countries to compete in the
Internet economy is by developing a workforce with Internet skills and knowledge. We are
teaming with APDIP to help them achieve that."
The Cisco Networking Academy Program is a non-profit
education initiative designed to equip students with conceptual and practical skills that
will enable them to design, build, maintain and troubleshoot the networks that connect
The curriculum also prepares students for the Cisco
Certified Networking Associate, or CCNA, exam, a certification that positions them for
immediate openings in a talent-hungry job market or for engineering- and science-focused
APDIP will serve as a Regional Networking Academy,
supporting ten Local Networking Academies in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, India,
Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. The Regional Networking Academy teaches
the instructors who oversee programs at the Local Networking Academies under its
jurisdiction. Information is also provided on topics such as individual school
performance, curriculum quality and effectiveness, and student progress.
the past few years, engineers from Cisco Systems and APDIP
have been working closely with many of these countries
in helping them set up their Internet service provider
(ISP) networks. The company also regularly holds ISP workshops,
working closely with APDIP, for developing countries in
the Asia Pacific.