Tariq Mohammed wrote:

> A little over a year ago, I arrived in Uganda as United Nations
> Volunteer (UNV). The purpose of this message is to update ICT4D
> practitioners about the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Initiative, a
> private-public partnership between Cisco Systems, UNDP, UNV, ITU and


> Here are the highlights from 2003-2004:
> *   The CNAP in Uganda has grown from 3 Academies in 2003 to 17 in
> 2004.
> *   Uganda became the first Least Developed Country to offer the Cisco
> Certified Network Professional (CCNP) curriculum.
> *   Launched 3 Sponsored Curriculum courses - IT Essentials, 
> Fundamentals of Voice and Data Cabling and Fundamentals of UNIX - by  
> Hewlett Packard, Panduit and Sun Microsystems.
> *   Established a Workforce Development Program by building 10 
> private-public partnerships.
> *   Received 5 awards during the 2003 Africa Academy Forum held in 
> Dakar, Senegal.
> *   Success stories of 2 female students.

Dear Tariq,

Thanks for sharing your success with us. I was in neighbouring Kenya
working in a rural women's college which was under the Jomo Kenyatta
University-based Cisco Regional Academy. The college where I volunteered
(through VSO) was offering CCNA courses and was planning to expand into
other Sponsored curriculum such as the ones that you mention.

I must confess that I was very ambivalent about the actual value of a

1. In my estimation, there is only a little demand for network and
system administrators in a country like Kenya (and I presume Uganda as
well). Should we be churning out hundreds of CCNAs every year when there
are not nearly enough jobs to take them in?

2. Is the CCNx program a revenue stream for Cisco? I had to battle this
question constantly during my work.

3. Do we need to be teaching impoverished people about network
administration when we could teach them much more useful things like how
to use a computer to help them manage their resources well. In other
words, teach them computer usage as a tool rather than computer usage as
an end in itself.

In my opinion, Cisco is much better off investing all the money that it
is currently spending subsidizing the CCNx programs on primary and
secondary computer education.



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