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ITU, Cisco to establish digital centres in Africa, other regions

12 Sep 2019, 04:52 pm
Financial Nigeria
ITU, Cisco to establish digital centres in Africa, other regions

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The initiative will target people needing digital skills, students, entrepreneurs and policymakers.

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in partnership with Cisco, today launched the Digital Transformation Centres Initiative to equip people around the world with the skills needed to effectively participate in today's digital society and economy.

Through this initiative, ITU and Cisco said they will work with a network of institutions to run digital skills training programmes in specific tech areas. To kick-start the initiative, ITU and Cisco said they will identify 10 Digital Transformation Centres to participate in the first phase, which will run for 18 months starting in January 2020. The centres selected will be located in the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.

“Providing digital skills training is key to bridging the digital divide,” ITU said in a statement it released today to announce the joint initiative. “Digital skills are needed at all levels: at the basic level, to help people connect and benefit from Internet services and applications; at the intermediate level, to help students and job seekers get the necessary skills required by the digital economy; and at the advanced level to increase the pool of ICT experts and meet the demands of the industry.”

ITU said the initiative will target people who need basic digital skills to use digital tools and access e-services, and those who seek to enhance their basic and intermediate skills. The initiative also targets entrepreneurs who wish to develop their businesses and it will assist policy-makers in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes related to digital skills, with the overall objective of enabling a successful national digital transformation process.

“We are proud to partner with Cisco to enhance digital literacy," says ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “We call on governments, the private sector, development agencies, local communities and other stakeholders to help us advance this initiative. Join us to boost digital skills to facilitate the digital transformation journey and accelerate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals."

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