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Cisco Named as a Global Strategic Technology Provider for Newly Launched ’Silatech’ Youth Employment Initiative


Cisco® was named, today, as one of the first global strategic technology providers for the Middle East and North Africa region’s newly launched youth employment initiative - ’Silatech’- announced by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned- of Qatar during the opening session of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum held in Madrid.

’Silatech’, which means ’your connection’ in Arabic represents Her Highnesses mission to support the creation of new jobs needed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Silatech’s goal will be to support a unique and comprehensive strategy that includes providing links to jobs and placements, a call center, market-related training, access to business development services and capital for aspiring entrepreneurs, and employment attachments such as internships and apprenticeships.

Silatech will engage a wide range of new partners including employer’s associations, trade unions, small and medium-sized businesses, commercial banks, governments, regional and international organizations, donors and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). It will harness the best of new technologies and create a dramatic mobilization of the region’s young people to get involved and to engage as positive members of their societies.

“Developing and addressing the growing skills gap, as well as creating entrepreneurs and leaders of the future, is at the forefront of Cisco’s mission for the Middle East and Africa region,” commented Paul Mountford, president for Cisco Emerging Markets. “We have already embarked on several initiatives to facilitate this, a key outstanding example being the Cisco Networking Academy® and the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute launched by Cisco for Emerging Markets. The strategic relationship with Silatech marks yet another key milestone in our journey to help create some of the many new jobs required over the next decade for the upcoming youth of this region. We are delighted that Her Highness chose Cisco as one the initial technology providers for this momentous initiative,” he said.

The Cisco Networking Academy provides Information Technology skills to students globally to improve their career and economic opportunities. It operates in high schools, colleges, universities, technical and military schools, community-based organizations and government bodies. Its curriculum combines the theory and practice of designing, developing and implementing the networks that underpin businesses and other organizations. In addition, its advanced technology curricula in areas such as security, wireless and IP telephony provide exposure to the latest technology skills in those fields. It also has a module teaching basic IT skills.

The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is a coaching and training program for entrepreneurs that includes content in three focused areas that will teach young entrepreneurs how to start a business, grow a business and IT enable a business. It has been established with an ecosystem of partners that includes global experts in this field. The Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is a “blended learning program” with a mix of facilitator lead training, ELearning and workshop style sessions. Its objective is to build entrepreneurial capacity by teaching the skills needed for running small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) successfully. It also aims to establish connections between SMEs and the country’s most experienced business leaders.

The collaboration between Cisco and Silatech will involve:

* Best practices sharing, based on Cisco worldwide operations in 150 countries, in terms of workforce development, education and technology. Cisco will participate in the blueprint for the establishment of an invitational technology platform, in cooperation with other leading technology and mobile providers, for the Silatech technology platform.

* Introducing Cisco’s ecosystem of certified partners in the technology, education and workforce development fields whenever possible.

* Jointly deploying the Cisco Networking Academy program in the targeted countries.

* Jointly deploying the Cisco Enterprise Institute in these targeted countries.

“Through its existing solutions for Connected Education, workforce development and life-long learning, as well as vocational training and entrepreneurial programs, Cisco is in a position to comprehensively address the requirements of the Silatech initiative,” said Sam Alkharrat, managing director for Cisco Gulf and Pakistan. “The fact that this initiative addresses the creation of new jobs from a holistic perspective - focused on a diverse region, not just one country and focused not just on job matching but on bridging the skills gap makes it completely unique”, he concluded.

For more details about Cisco Networking Academy, visit:
About Silatech

Silatech is an innovative initiative of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, with broad support from other leaders and organizations both regionally and internationally. It is being created to address the critical and growing need to create new jobs and opportunities for young people globally, starting in the Middle East and North Africa-the region of the world with the highest rates of youth unemployment and under-employment.

With broad support from other leaders and organizations both regionally and internationally, including Cisco, the ILO and the World Bank Global Partnership for Youth Investment, among others, Silatech is being established to create new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth of the region. Operating through a country-by-country strategy (within a regional framework and approach) Silatech will help connect young people to employment, provide business development services and promote small and medium-sized enterprises.
About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to Cisco equipment in emerging markets is supplied by Cisco Systems International BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Systems and Networking Academy are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.


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