Interswitch has announced plans to donate IT equipment to students in 10 tertiary institutions across Nigeria, as part of an effort to support Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country.
Making the announcement, Interswitch said the initiative is being implemented in collaboration with a multinational technology company, Cisco, where the equipment such as routers and switches will be donated to the Cisco Networking Academies in the 10 institutions.
The 10 institutions are Igbinedion University Okada; Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu; Covenant University, Ota; Federal University of Technology Akure; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; University of Maiduguri; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Others are Lagos State University; the University of Port-Harcourt and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Each of the listed institutions currently runs the Cisco Networking Academies, an all-embracing platform where individuals and communities use tech tools to create impact.
The donations are expected to support the students of the Cisco Networking Academies as they explore their passion in the field of STEM and learn to develop solutions to everyday problems faced by Africans.
Speaking about the donation, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Interswitch Group, said the Interswitch’s donation aligns with its long-standing efforts to encourage more African students to take up STEM courses in school.
She noted that the company has actively encouraged the uptake of STEM courses by students through its various initiatives such as the Interswitch SPAK National Science Competition which is held annually in Nigeria and East Africa.
“We understand that the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses is not a walk in the park, however, going through the rigors of studying STEM subjects without basic tools such as a computer can be unnerving. This is why we are donating the IT equipment to the networking academies with the belief that more students will be equipped to hone their skills in STEM and consequently pursue careers in STEM.”
Commenting on the collaboration with Interswitch, to further equip the networking academies, Sebastine Nzeabine, Country Lead of Cisco, Nigeria said: Cisco Networking Academy transforms the lives of learners, educators and communities through the power of technology, education and career opportunities. Critical to this is creating connections through access to infrastructure, forging opportunities by investing in people to help create a skilled economy and inclusion of all citizens to give them efficient technology solutions to address their unique local needs.
The partnership sees Interswitch leveraging Cisco Networking Academies as existing communities in tertiary institutions across the country and donating the computers to the academies, while Cisco prepares the students for industry-recognized certifications and entry-level information and communication technology careers through the equipment donated.
There are over 200 Cisco Networking Academies in Nigeria, the highest number in Africa, creating a hub for future innovators who desire to change the African narrative through technological solutions.