Cisco has announced a strategic partnership with the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP), to develop the digital skills of 8,000 trainers in the fields of cybersecurity and programming via the Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad).
In Saudi Arabia, the Cisco NetAcad program has one of the highest female student participation rates globally, reaching 32% - a number which Cisco is keen to continue growing. Of the 8,000 participants being trained via Cisco and SAFCSP’s new initiative, through a combination of online and on-site courses, the duo will be training and upskilling more than 1,000 women.
As part of the skills building agenda, Cisco will develop the competencies of SAFCSP’s trainers, looking to gain further expertise in digitization and cybersecurity essentials, including Cisco DevNet and Python qualifications. SAFCSP trainers will also meet with experts from Cisco via coaching sessions in cybersecurity.
Building on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2018 to develop cybersecurity and programming skills, the collaborative partnership will see Cisco and SAFCSP leverage their industry-renowned upskilling initiatives to enhance the digital capabilities of Tuwaiq Academy, Saudi Arabia’s first advanced technology academy, and CyberHub, a platform for Saudi-based students interested in gaining cybersecurity competencies.
Both Tuwaiq Academy and CyberHub were founded by SAFCSP under the umbrella of the Saudi Olympic Committee, which strives to build local professional capabilities in digital transformation – specifically in the fields of cybersecurity and programming. The program is founded on the pillars of inspiration, empowerment and sustainability, and aims to achieve the goal of having one programmer among every 100 Saudi nationals by 2030.
Commenting on the partnership, Salman Abdulghani Faqeeh, Managing Director, Saudi Arabia at Cisco said, “With a tech-savvy population and the national agenda putting investments in infrastructure and talent development at the forefront, Saudi Arabia is ensuring that digital transformation and upskilling remains a vital contributor towards the growth and success of several industries. Cisco continues to be a key enabler of digital transformation in the Kingdom and through our partnership with SAFCSP, we will further contribute towards the agenda of futureproofing job roles and aiding the transition towards a more digitally-focused economy.”
Since openings its doors to the world in 1997, the Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad) has served as a platform to train, upskill and develop human capital – aiding the transition towards more digitally-focused economies. In Saudi Arabia, the program was first introduced in 2000 and to date, it has trained over 140,000 students. Today, there are 106 active networking academies in the Kingdom and over 450 academic instructors.