NIL Africa wins Cisco Customer Success Award for trail blazing CCIE 525 programme

Johannesburg, 30 Jan 2024
NIL Africa Team that made Project 525 possible, holding the Cisco Customer Success Award.
NIL Africa Team that made Project 525 possible, holding the Cisco Customer Success Award.

NIL Africa, which positions itself as a leader in IT skills development and training, is proud to announce it has won the prestigious Cisco Customer Success Award for 2023 for its revolutionary Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) 525 programme. Designed to combat the loss of skilled engineers to international markets, the CCIE 525 programme sets a new standard in IT certification and professional development.

NIL Africa, an exclusive delivery arm for NIL Learning in the sub-Saharan African region, has upheld its reputation as the only Platinum Cisco Learning Partner in sub-Saharan Africa since 1993. With a legacy of innovation and excellence in IT skills, NIL Africa continues this tradition, offering unparalleled technical competencies and insights. Dedicated to supporting our customers’ technology systems, guiding them from design through to optimisation.

Recognising the crucial demand for highly skilled IT engineers in sub-Saharan Africa, NIL Africa has introduced Project 525. As articulated by Christy Faria, a Cisco Product Manager based in California: "The 525 programme stands as a ground-breaking initiative for customer success, specifically tailored to address the shortage of CCIEs in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Spanning over 10 months, this transformative project aims to significantly boost the number of CCIEs in the area, with a target of certifying 500 engineers by the close of 2025." This forward-thinking venture encapsulates the core principles of Cisco’s CCIE 360 programme, while adapting to the latest CCIE curriculum. The programme's objective is to train 500 Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) engineers, equipping them to tackle the rigorous eight-hour CCIE lab exams within their chosen architecture. According to Faria, the Project 525 programme "aspires to elevate the overall skill level of networking professionals in the region, making a collective contribution to the technological advancements and workforce development of the region".

Martin Camp, Managing Director at NIL Africa.
Martin Camp, Managing Director at NIL Africa.

Conrad Steyn, Chief Technology Officer at Cisco, lauds the programme, stating: “Project 525 aims to take South Africa’s networking capabilities to the next level. With the help of our trusted learning partners, Cisco is bridging the gap between knowledge and skills and offering the learning and certification pathways that our industry professionals need.”

In partnership with the Institute of Chartered IT Professionals (ICITP), NIL Africa has aligned the CCIE certification to a Level 7 qualification on the National Qualifications Framework. This recognition equates the CCIE certification to a graduate degree, significantly enhancing career opportunities and promotion prospects for participants.

Martin Camp, Managing Director of NIL Africa, highlights the critical need for such initiatives, saying: “South Africa faces a shortage of sought-after certified technology skillsets. We must prioritise addressing this shortage with programmes such as Project 525. The project condenses years of hands-on technical experience into a streamlined, comprehensive learning process supported by the world’s leading network solutions provider.”

Par Merat, Vice-President of Cisco Learning & Certifications, and Martin Camp, Managing Director of NIL Africa.
Par Merat, Vice-President of Cisco Learning & Certifications, and Martin Camp, Managing Director of NIL Africa.

With its proven success and innovative approach, NIL Africa has expanded the CCIE 525 programme to the Middle East. This expansion is a testament to the programme's effectiveness and NIL Africa's commitment to addressing the global demand for highly skilled IT professionals.

The next 525 CCIE programmes in tech areas such as security, service provider and enterprise infrastructure cohorts for 2024 will be kicking off in March.

NIL Africa, as a level one B-BBEE contributor, is committed to local talent development. The CCIE 525 programme aligns with the Workplace Skills Plan, aimed at addressing skills shortages and creating employment opportunities. 

Title: Cisco Learning Partner FY23 Award Ceremony

Link: Award Ceremony Recording

Time Stamp: 32:10 - 39:23

Contact to be part of in Project 525.


NIL Learning

NIL Learning was founded in 1989 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, becoming a Cisco Learning Partner in 1993, today we have offices in Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa. NIL Learning have, over the years received many awards, from our advanced technological approach to delivering virtual classes in 2001, to Learning Partner of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. NIL Learning is part of Conscia Group, a leading European IT specialist.

Opened in 2008, NIL Africa is the only Cisco Platinum Learning Partner in sub-Saharan Africa, and one of only two on the continent. We are a proudly South African level 1 B-BBEE contributor, we are 51% black-owned and 30.04% black women-owned. All of our instructors have relevant field experience and have received multiple Excellence Awards from our learning partners.

Martin Camp – MD NIL Africa

Hailing from KwaZulu Natal, Martin began his career in 1984 in the posts & telecommunications industry. Martin has spent over 20 years working abroad in designing and delivering telecom fibre and switching projects in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain. He then decided to return to South Africa and in 2009 he launched the NIL Africa brand as a response to the requirement for Cisco training and is today the MD of the company. Martin has a strong passion to see local engineering talent grow and serve the local Enterprise and Service Provider markets. His international experience combined with local knowledge ensures that he “thinks global but acts local”, a compelling message for today’s remote and hybrid work solutions.

Editorial contacts

Samantha Coopman
Marketing Manager NIL South Africa
(+27) 087 086 3550