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 UNDP APDIP and Cisco Systems complete a three-year plan to set up Networking Academies in developing countries
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UNDP APDIP
Eighteen Cisco Networking Academies, established in nine countries around Asia Pacific, are training over 500 students

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - July 26, 2002 - The UNDP Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) and Cisco Systems, Inc., announced today the successful completion of their initiative to bring Internet education to students in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region. In fact, APDIP and Cisco surpassed the original goal to set-up ten Cisco Networking Academies in nine developing countries in the region and have since established eighteen Academies. These Networking Academies have to date produced over 140 graduates and are currently training more than 500 students.

The Cisco Networking Academy Program teaches students to design, build and maintain computer networks. The collaboration with APDIP is part of Cisco's Strategic Partnership with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Volunteer program (UNV) to help train students in the world's Least Developed Countries (LDC) and developing countries in the Asia Pacific for jobs in the Internet Economy.

"We have been delighted with the success of the Cisco Networking Academy Program. The information economy demands an unprecedented level of technology literacy from tomorrow's workers. Yet in many Asia Pacific countries there is a severe shortage of trained networking specialists. Our three-year collaboration with Cisco has helped some of these countries bridge the digital divide," said Ms. Maxine Olson, UNDP Malaysia Resident Representative.

The eighteen Networking Academies are located in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. Moving forward, United Nations Volunteers (UNVs) will help strengthen the Academies that have been established and expand the Academy program in the four LDC countries where Cisco has no offices. Networking Academies in the Pacific Islands, Mongolia, and the Indian sub-continent, will be managed by Regional Networking Academies in Australia, China and India respectively.

"The Cisco Networking Academy Program was developed to impart networking and the Internet skills to students and working adults. Cisco strongly believes that education in this area should not be reserved only for those that can afford it. By working with the UNDP to make advanced Internet education available in the least developed countries, we are giving them the same educational opportunity for a good IT career that students in more developed countries have. This is all part of Cisco's belief that the Internet and Education are the true equalizers in life," said Joseph Puthussery, Director of Marketing, Asia Pacific, Cisco Systems.

For Ms. Karvika Thapa, a student in Nepal, an LDC where the average annual income is US$210, the Academy program has been an eye-opener to the world of the Internet. "In the 12 months of the Academy program so far, I've been able to relate to the Internet in terms of real world networking scenarios. Now I am able to network my desktop and laptop computers at home and also use a router to connect both computers to the Internet. I thank my instructors and the management at the Kathmandu College of Management (KCM), Nepal and Cisco for giving me this wonderful opportunity to get hands on training in a great field like networking," she said.

About Cisco's LDC Initiative
At the G-8 Summit In July, 2000, Cisco Systems announced that it will work with its strategic partners - the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United States Agency for International Development's Leland Initiative - to extend the Cisco Networking Academy Program to half of the world's 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). With this initiative, Cisco will partner for the first time with the United Nations Secretary General's new initiative UNITeS and the United Nations Volunteers to implement the Networking Academy program and expand the range of information and communication technologies available within LDCs. Bringing the Cisco Networking Academy Program to these countries will provide local workforces with the skills to design, build and maintain the Internet infrastructure, which is a critical step to participation and employment in the global economy. The Academy program will facilitate sustainable development in the LDCs and accelerate their progression and full integration into the world economy.

About APDIP
APDIP is the UNDP regional information and communications technology programme in Asia Pacific, based in Kuala Lumpur, serving forty-three countries through twenty-five UNDP country offices. APDIP aims to promote the development and application of ICTs for poverty alleviation and sustainable human development in Asia-Pacific through its core service lines of Policy Development & Dialogue, Access, and Knowledge Creation & Content Development. APDIP delivers on its objectives through activities that involve awareness raising and advocacy, promoting ICT policies and dialogue, building capacities, access, knowledge sharing, and networking. Strategic public-private partnerships and opportunities for technical co-operation between countries are the key building blocks in the implementation of each activity. For more information on APDIP, please visit http://www.apdip.net.

About UNDP
UNDP is the United Nations' global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. Information on UNDP is available at http://www.undp.org.my.

About Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco news and information are available at www.cisco.com. Asia Pacific news and information are available at http://www.cisco.com/asiapac/news.

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