There are two solutions for Latin America to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the
Fourth Industrial Revolution – educating and connecting its people, according to the World Economic Forum. Like everywhere else, Latin America needs a workforce that is trained in essential and emerging networking skills, as well as
non-technical skills like proficiency in English, team work, problem solving, creativity and innovation, and communication.
The ministries of education in that region are aware of these skills gaps, and they have entered into partnerships with nonprofit organisations and corporations such as network provider Cisco to get training to the people who need it. More than one million individuals in Latin America have graduated from Cisco’s Networking Academy since 1998. And that number is growing exponentially.
Networking Academy students are not always your typical displaced job seekers. A 99-year-old man, encouraged by his granddaughters, recently graduated from a Networking Academy Get Connected programme in Buenos Aires. Nonprofit organisations in Peru are targeting those who might otherwise have a hard time finding work: at-risk youth, people with disabilities, and people in remote communities in the jungles.
In Colombia, a programme known as Vive Digital is a prime example of how government, community, business and technology can be brought together to combat the issues that hinder connectivity.
Vive Digital provided more than 6,000 students with 100 per cent
forgivable loans to study ICT-related careers as part of its Talento Digital initiative. In addition, 2.5 million public servants have been certified as digital citizens, empowering them to take ownership of technology and its
The programme also addressed the need to source locally relevant coverage. A GSMA study found a lack of local content as the most important factor for the lack of connectivity – more than affordability or coverage – in most of Latin America.
Generally, local content is entertainment focused. As a result, people tend to believe that the Internet is merely a channel for entertainment. They are unaware of how much research, data, health information and other tools can be accessed online.
Vive Digital created a national network of ViveLabs, installing 17 laboratories to develop digital content: video games, informational animation series, devices and applications. Online marketing and monetisation workshops were also provided.
Published : May 23, 2017
By : The Nation