Graduation Celebration Marks Success of Rural ICT Training Program by Cisco and Lindamahle

41 students, including unemployed women, graduate with honors from Lindamahle Innovation Centre, fostering rural digital empowerment.

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), Mr N.G. Nelani, Executive Mayor of KSD Municipality, Cisco, Software AG, International Labour Organisation, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), MICT SETA, and The National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa  celebrated the graduation of 41 students from the Lindamahle Innovation Centre. The students were part of a successful pilot focused on imparting much-needed information and computing technology (ICT) skills to people in unconnected rural areas. 

The ceremony, held at the centre, was attended by members from Cisco, representatives from the DCDT and all the above-mentioned partners together with other dignitaries from various government departments and the private sector, in the Eastern Cape on Friday 16 February 2024.

It’s exciting to see the tangible results of Cisco and Lindamahle efforts to provide education and upskilling opportunities, and nurture the next generation of empowered, digitally savvy professionals. These young people play an important role in our national digital transformation agenda, and it’s through initiatives such as Cisco Networking Academy that they receive effective training and upskilling to take them and their communities forward. We congratulate them and wish them well on the next stage of their career journeys.

Mr. Mlindi Mashologu, Deputy Director General Information Society and Capacity Development, DCDT

The pilot program took place over a 12-month period in the OR Tambo District, Eastern Cape where students received industry-recognised certifications in networking, programming and cybersecurity. Of the 41 graduating students, 32 are unemployed young women and mothers from the surrounding community. These determined individuals excelled in Networking Academy courses, achieving a remarkable 100% pass rate and 96% cum laude achievement rate despite challenging socio-economic conditions faced by rural youth.

These young women and our team at Lindamahle worked extremely hard to reach this important milestone for our community. Working with Cisco Networking Academy and in alignment with the government’s efforts to connect communities to the internet, we created a program to equip our students with the skills they need to build digital and economic connections here in the Eastern Cape.

Zine Nkukwana, Chief Executive Officer, Lindamahle

Lindamahle’s program was designed to enable students to follow two specific career pathways that will foster economic empowerment and digital connectivity in their rural communities: Network Maintenance Officer (NMO) and Community Capacitation Officer (CCO).

Network Maintenance Officers are responsible for keeping the internet connection, be it fibre or wireless, optimised throughout the village. Meanwhile, Community Capacitation Officers introduce and equip communities with emerging technologies and help community members use their connectivity safely and effectively. 

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