The Centre for Innovations and Professional skills Development (CiPSD) under the College of Computing and IS hosts the Regional Cisco Networking Academy in Uganda. The Cisco Networking Academy programs key objective is to transforms lives with hands-on digital skills training to prepare students for in-demand ICT careers. The digital skills offered through this Academy vary from introductory courses e.g. Get Connected, Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) to intermediate and advanced courses e.g. Linux, Cybersecurity etc.

The Academy has over the years embraced the Cisco goal of transforming lives and to witness some of these life transforming changes the Centre had the opportunity to host Ms. Tae Yoo (Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility, Cisco) and her Cisco marketing team.

Ms. Yoo addressing Cisco Networking Academy staff and students

Ms. Yoo leads Cisco’s social investments and stewards CSR and sustainability across the business. She directs Cisco’s business, technical, and financial assets to accelerate global problem solving to positively impact people, society, and the planet. Under Tae’s leadership, Corporate Affairs strives to inspire, connect, and invest in global problem solvers to nurture innovative solutions and catalyze an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports progress and inclusive growth. Corporate Affairs also invests in developing digital skills so everyone can participate in the digital economy and become a global problem solver. Corporate Affairs has committed to positively impact 1 billon people by 2025.

A founding Cisco employee, Tae pioneered Cisco’s Business Development – establishing new markets through partnerships for joint product and market development. Under her leadership, the Cisco Networking Academy program has become one of the largest ICT education programs worldwide, helping 1.2 million get jobs from 2005-2013.  She is a Trustee of the Cisco Foundation, a member of the Service Year Alliance Board and of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Education, Gender and Work.

With the impact she has had on lives worldwide she wanted the opportunity to witness the impact Cisco is having on transforming lives in Uganda. Some of the life changing testimonials included:

Ms. Kondo Juliet giving her testimonial to the Cisco Networking Academy

“I am a Security guard who works at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Makerere University). I enrolled within the Cisco Networking Academy to pursue the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) course and although I had financial challenges was able to obtain a gender-based scholarship from the School of Women and Gender Studies and complete the course. I was aware that CCNA is equivalent to Ordinary diploma and so used it together with my A’ level results to apply for a degree program at Makerere University. I was successfully admitted to Makerere University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. During my Bachelor’s studies because of CCNA I was able to type my own coursework, write research proposal, use the internet for research purposes etc. I am currently enrolled and doing my Master’s degree and can attest that all this success is because of the opportunities that the Cisco networking Academy provided.  Currently even my son has been admitted to Makerere University through the Cisco Networking Academy courses. I am really, really grateful to Cisco”                                                                                                                       

Ms. Kondo Juliet,

The Cisco team also got the opportunity to visit other Cisco Academies within the region i.e. Kibo Foundation, Kampala International University (KIU), and the School of Gender and Women Studies (SGWS) Makerere University. The objective here was to evaluate the challenges these academies were undergoing and identifying solutions to these challenges.

Group photo of Cisco Networking Academy staff, students, and their visitors.

The three-day visit concluded with a farewell cocktail and dinner event where additional successes and challenges of the Academies were discussed as well as where exchanges between the cultural norms of both countries were compared i.e. Uganda and the United States of America.