Cisco has announced that it will invest $10 million to seed a sustainable model of job-creation and economic development in Jordan. The venture capital investment will be targeted at small businesses that provide innovative products, services and solutions. Cisco also intends to engage in a multi-stakeholder collaboration to encourage further investment into the Jordanian economy from local, regional and global organisations.
The information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Jordan has witnessed significant growth, going from just 50 companies in 2002 to more than 450 today. ICT now comprises more than 14 percent of the country’s GDP. Cisco is also strategically partnering with the government of Jordan to provide thought leadership in ICT-enabled healthcare solutions. The kingdom was ranked number one in the region and fifth in the world as a medical tourism hub by the World Bank in 2008.
Cisco works with governments all over the world, providing ongoing strategic advice, access to international best practices, and, of course, access to technology solutions based on industry standards. The company sees significant opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and is committed to supporting the regions long-term goals. The MENA region is one of the fastest growing regions in terms of economic and population growth.
Cisco is actively working throughout MENA to support job creation and economic growth by building ICT skills and talent within the workforce as well as providing greater access to capital and to educational opportunities. 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 MENA region. Cisco has several initiatives in the region to facilitate this, including the Cisco Networking Academy.
The Networking Academy is present in 19 countries in the MENA region currently boasting 70,000 active students 36 percent of whom are women. The program has trained 177,000 students since inception. Today there are 1,800 active instructors and 850 active academies in MENA. In Jordan there are 21 academies with 50 instructors. More than 7,600 students have been trained since the program’s inception of whom 31 percent are women — this represents a 26 percent increase of Networking Academy students in Jordan year on year.