NIIT, CII join hands to help build Africa’s IT capacity

April 7th, 2008 - 11:21 am ICT by admin  

Bangalore, April 7 (IANS) NIIT and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will join hands to “help develop ICT (information and communication technology) capacity in the African continent”, the Mumbai-based technology training and software solutions company has announced on the eve of the India-Africa Forum Summit. NIIT and the CII would share “high quality education resources” from India, the company said. They also plan to involve “other appropriate players” from the Indian industry to specifically help Africa develop human capital for the global IT industry.

A cooperation agreement has been signed by CII director and Africa head Shipra Tripathi and NIIT chief operating officer P. Rajendran.

Several business leaders, government officials and media representatives from African countries are currently in India to attend the first India Africa Summit, being held April 4-9.

NIIT said it would provide “relevant IT curricula in line with international IT trends”, and content for IT, soft skills and entrepreneurship for training in universities and colleges in Africa. CII, on the other hand, will facilitate internship with the Indian industry.

CII, founded over 112 years ago, has a direct membership of over 7,000 businesses from both private and public sectors, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and multinational corporations (MNCs), and an indirect membership of over 90,000 companies from around 362 national and regional associations.

NIIT calls itself “Asia’s No 1 trainer” and says it offers learning and knowledge solutions to five million students across 32 countries.

NIIT Ltd’s Shivanjali Singh said the company and CII would work together and explore modalities of “embedding” NIIT’s industry-endorsed IT training programs in the curriculum of universities and colleges in Africa.

They will also look at the possibilities of establishing “centres of excellence” for talent development in different African countries.

The software education major has been running IT training centres in Africa for over a decade. NIIT, which set up its first African IT education centre in Botswana in 1997, claims that it has trained nearly 150,000 students till date.

It currently reaches over 20,000 African learners every year, through 36 learning centres in eight African countries - Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Libya, Sudan, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The government of Botswana has awarded accreditation of Tertiary Education Council (TEC) to NIIT’s industry-recognised IT training programs.

The company said its flagship DNIIT programme - focussed on internet and e-commerce technologies - was the most popular training program in many African countries.

NIIT offers scholarship programmes, which have gained good responses in countries like Nigeria and Ghana.

It says its innovative learning project Hole in the Wall Education (HiWEL) has been implemented in Rwanda, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique.

NIIT chairman Rajendra S. Pawar is a member of Presidential International Advisory Council (PIAC) in South Africa, and has been helping the government develop a growth strategy for its ICT industry, said NIIT.

The 1981-founded company, which was formerly known as National Institute of Information Technology, has diversified into software services. In 2004, the firm split into NIIT Ltd and NIIT Technologies Ltd. While NIIT Ltd focuses on training, NIIT Technologies focuses on software development and business process management.

It claims to be among the top 20 Indian software exporters, with operations in some 42 countries. It has also tied up with Chinese universities for training engineers from that country.

NIIT said it recently launched the state-of-art training campus in Botswana, which would accommodate 7,000 students in various IT streams by 2010.

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