We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of cloud and virtual desktops for businesses recently and of course, as the technology really begins to take off, it’s important for companies to understand what cloud can do for them. However, it’s not just the world of business that is benefitting from cloud, but other, needier causes around the world are putting the technology to use to benefit those less fortunate.
Whilst we all realise that the internet has made the world a much smaller place, there are still many corners of the globe that can’t make use of it, or other technologies to give hope for a better life.
Until now, that is. Cisco has recently launched a new initiative that aims to help “talented young women in Africa boost their future outlook”.
According to Cisco: “This marks a significant milestone for technology in Africa and is a testimony to the whirlwind of information and communications technology (ICT) developments in the region as well as Cisco's unique capabilities for bandwidth optimization”.
Cisco’s Africa Women Leadership Network Program was implemented in April 2012 and targets young talent who are currently studying at colleges and universities throughout the whole of Africa. Cisco also assisted students from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE via ‘TelePresence’ to meet with leading Cisco employees, who shared their own experiences as females as to how they got into IT and their roles within Cisco.
The idea of the program is not only to allow talented women from emerging economies to discuss the opportunities that may be available to them, but to boost their futures within technology by introducing them to innovative models such as cloud.
The program will run from 2012-2013 and the women will have the opportunity to meet and discuss the backgrounds and ambitions of women who are seen to be influential in their field.
Since 2010, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) hold events every 4th Thursday of every April. This year, Cisco invited 42 female students to spend the day at Cisco offices from secondary schools and universities to help them understand further how they could achieve a successful career in IT, as well as what opportunities exist for them.
The girls who attended were given the opportunity to test their existing abilities, examine technology in more depth and meet with industry leaders in order to ask questions and make important contacts, which they will no doubt find invaluable in the future.
Much of this was also made possible by TelePresence, an advanced Cisco video conferencing technology which is “so intuitive and life-like and natural that it feels as if people were in the same room even when they were many kilometres apart.”
Talking of the program, Her Excellency Ambassador Tebelelo Mazile Seretse of Botswana to the United States said: “Mentoring and training programs aimed at young talented females in Africa are going to be vital to help our young workforce of the future to be able to adapt and secure career opportunities in the global 21st-century workforce.”
“As the African proverb goes, ‘if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.' I am pleased that Cisco is making their innovative technology available to enable so many young African women in different locations to collaborate so easily without the need to travel," she went on to say.
It’s great to see that corporations like Cisco don’t just provide an excellent service and backbone to cloud solutions, as well as much more, but is also ‘giving back’ and helping not only those less fortunate, but shaping a new generation who could help move these technologies along further and faster.