Tanzanian Students Get Certified in Networking Technology
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania
Last month, 38 Tanzanian students graduated from an information and communications technology (ICT) course in Dar es Salaam that awarded each of them a Cisco Certified Network Associates certificate. The certificates are the same as the ones awarded to students at American colleges, universities, high schools and academic institutions around the world, making them eligible to set up and manage Cisco computer networking products.
The ICT course, conducted at the University of Dar es Salaam, is introducing Cisco’s globally standardized technology curriculum to Tanzania in an effort to spread technological expertise throughout the nation to help bridge the so-called “digital divide” that exists there and in other least-developed countries. Tanzania is the first among 24 African countries that will be participating in the program.
The program, which is backed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is intended to help Tanzania increase the number of ICT professionals able to solve technical problems in the workplace and help make organizations more efficient. Cisco has donated training materials and the UNDP has provided funding to help make the program affordable. Outside the United States, the four-month course typically costs nearly $3,000 in U.S. currency per student, but the current initiative cuts tuition by half that amount.
“The beauty of this program is that it does not require any prior knowledge of computers or networks,” says UNDP project officer Riku Asikainen.
The program also includes employment counseling, and graduates are expected to find jobs managing small and medium-sized computer networks for Tanzanian businesses and public institutions, according to UNDP officials.
Tanzanian and UNDP officials hope to make the Cisco training part of normal university curricula in Tanzania. “All university graduates would benefit from such ICT skills. Therefore, we are planning to have the program included in course work for computer science, engineering and other fields,” Asikainen says.
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