SOURCE: Cisco Systems, Inc.

January 29, 2008 08:00 ET

Cisco to Launch Mediterranean Youth Technology Club (MYTecC) and the Digital Cities Project Aimed at Long Term Economic and Social Development

$2.5 Million Investment in Education and Social Inclusion

NAZARETH, ISRAEL--(Marketwire - January 29, 2008) - In the presence of Mr Shimon Peres, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) chairman and CEO, John Chambers, today inaugurated the MYTecC project, an education initiative aimed at giving ninth and tenth grade pupils from the Mediterranean region the skills needed for them to become future business and social leaders.

Cisco also today announced a $2 million investment to support The Digital Cities project, which includes more than 20 different projects aimed at improving relations between Israeli Jews and Arabs in the cities of Nazareth and Nazareth Illit, whilst promoting economic development and social change in healthcare, tourism, education and civil services primarily through the use of Internet technologies and education. The two Nazareth's are situated on either side of the Israeli and West Bank border.

Through technology and Web 2.0, young people will communicate with one another, share ideas and create a dialog whilst learning the English language, IT and leadership skills, tooling them to become responsible leaders of the future. Cisco previously committed $500,000 to support the MYTecC programe.

With participants from Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Portugal, Turkey and Yemen, MYTecC is developed in partnership with the ICTDAR (ICT for Development in the Arab Region) a regional program for the United Nations Development Programe (UNDP) Teachers without Borders, The Peres Centre for Peace and Cisco.

Zika Abzuk, Public Benefit Investment manager for Cisco in Europe and Emerging Markets, says, "Through MYTecC we are leveling the playing field, enabling kids from underserved communities in the different countries to become citizens of the world -- so when they grow up and becomes business leaders in their countries they will have people in the region who they trust to do business with."

Upon successful completion of the programe, students will receive a professional certification that allows them to access the job market or progress to more study and training. The intent is to nurture a sense of caring for self, the community and the region as a whole. MYTecC has been developed based on the success of the Net@ programe in Israel which currently has over 2000 participating students in 24 towns around Israel.

During his first visit to Israel, Chambers met with leading figures in the Israeli government and industry where he discussed Israel's key role in hi-tech and innovation and the importance of public and private partnerships in enabling social change.

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