Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital commerce company, Interswitch, has announced plans to equip students in ten tertiary institutions across Nigeria with IT equipment. According to Interswitch, this is in furtherance of its commitment to support Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in Nigeria.
The initiative, which is being implemented in collaboration with multinational technology company, Cisco, will see Interswitch donate IT equipment including routers and switches to the Cisco Networking Academies in these institutions. 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.
Beneficiary institutions include 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; University of Port-Harcourt and University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Each of the listed institutions currently run the Cisco Networking Academies, an all-embracing platform where individuals and communities use tech tools to create impact.
Interswitch’s donation aligns with its long-standing efforts to encourage more African students to take up STEM courses in school. 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.
Speaking about the donation, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Interswitch Group, said that Interswitch is committed to improving learning, especially in STEM courses.
“We understand that the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses is not a walk in the park, however, going through the rigours 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 Nzeadibe, 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.
Also commenting on the collaboration with Cisco, Eromosele said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Cisco on this initiative, which is borne out of our shared belief in the revolution that lies ahead of Nigeria and Africa through technology, a revolution we do not only want to be part of, but lead. With synergies such as this between Cisco and Interswitch, we are confident we are building an army of competent scientists, engineers and problem solvers to whom we can entrust the future of the continent.”
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.