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Cisco and Thabo Mbeki Foundation sign MoU to build futuristic research and skills development centre.

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Cisco today announced it has partnered with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation to design the technology architecture for the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Centre, a living library, museum, and technological and educational hub, located in Riviera, Johannesburg.

The centre will serve as a space of African excellence and offer visitors access to rare materials and learning resources made available through advanced connected technologies.

“The history of the African liberation struggle encompasses the struggle for education and the need to establish a world-class system for our young people. Guided by the former President’s vision, the aim of the Thabo Mbeki Presidential Centre is to educate, inculcate, inspire, and activate citizens from all walks of African life to be dynamic agents of its Renaissance. With Cisco’s support, we can deliver the best results possible for South Africa, the continent, and the rest of the world,” said Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Chairperson of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.

As part of the MoU, Cisco will be responsible for digitising the centre’s end-user experience, futureproofing and infrastructure automation, cloud and data centre operations, and implementing a holistic technology strategy that will position the centre as a world-leading information repository and educational facility.

“Prioritising digital skills in young people is the first step to realising South Africa’s potential as a forward-facing, technological powerhouse. We must step up our efforts to give learners the resources and support they need to become digitally savvy, and inspire them to explore the potential of the technology they’re using,” said Smangele Nkosi, General Manager of Cisco South Africa.

Education is key to Africa’s future

In addition to designing the technology architecture of the TMPC, Cisco will build a digital skills platform that will complement the Thabo Mbeki Foundation’s education programmes and offer industry-recognised certifications aligned with those skills. The curriculum will be targeted at young, tech-curious people looking to upskill or reskill themselves while also focusing on cybersecurity training, a skill that is in high demand and essential for South Africa’s digital transformation.

At the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit late last year, Francine Katsoudas EVP & Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer of Cisco announced a new commitment to expand its digital and cybersecurity skills training to 3 million African people. This commitment includes an in-kind contribution of $200 million for resources like curriculum, tools, schools, and instructors. By providing new skillsets to 3 million people across Africa

This agreement forms part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration program in South Africa.

Active in South Africa since 2019, Cisco Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program aims to support the country’s ambition to make access to the digital economy possible for everyone. CDA is a long-term collaboration of Cisco with national leadership, industry, and academia to actively invest in strategic programs that align to national digitization agendas.


Staff writer

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