Technology industry players launch Digital Talent Program




Technology sector players have launched a Digital Talent Program that is aimed at developing digital skills in the market by taking a sustainable approach to create a healthy digital talent pipeline.

In its first year, the program, which is a partnership between organisations drawn from academia, training partners, tech-hubs, Government as well as industry players, targets to upskill 1,000 participants based on the digital skills currently in high demand.

So far, over 30 partners including 6 Universities, 14 Training Partners, 5 Tech-Hubs and community organizations, 7 Government agencies and 14 industry players including Big-Tech are part of the program.

(TOP: The PS, Ministry of ICT, Jerome Ochieng signs to seal the partnership as the Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa looks on during the launch of the Industry Digital Talent program at Safaricom offices).

“It has been observed that there is a number of youth with ICT related certificates who do not possess the skills and competencies required by the employer. Therefore, it is important for us as an industry and sector to push for digital penetration and come up with training and upskilling institutes to support those who are willing to be trained,” said Simon Chelugui, the CS, Ministry of Labour.

Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO said: “The digital talent program is in line with our purpose of transforming lives and vision to become a purpose-led technology company. Our ultimate objective is to position Kenya as the leading hub for tech talent in Africa.”

Catherine Muraga, the MD of Microsoft ADC, said: “We believe that Africa should not only be a consumer of technology, but also a hub for local talent. We can make a contribution in shaping and innovating the world. Kenya has a huge talent pool of competent and capable developers. That is why Microsoft and other tech companies are setting up their Africa operations here.”

Dr. Joshua Gisemba, KCA University Deputy VC, Academic Affairs said: “As universities, we need to rethink the curriculum and the methodologies that come along with that. Even as we put down the structures and have the curriculum reviewed, we also need to adequately prepare the instructors and providers to be able to adjust to the teaching methodology according to the needs of the society.”

The program will focus on 9 priority skill areas including: UI/UX design; Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning; IOT; Big Data and Analytics; Cyber Security; Cloud Computing; Fintech; Robotics Process Automation; and Software Engineering.

It will be delivered through a hybrid approach including classroom learning, mentorship, and internships for the experiential part of the learning. It will also involve hackathons, fireside chats, guest lecture sessions, incubation, career fairs, annual awards, curriculum reviews, placements, and certifications, among others.

Partners from academia will provide a pipeline for digital talent as well as the institutional strength and mandate to facilitate and implement classroom learning. Tech Hubs will also provide a talent pipeline and play a critical role in driving innovation, while training partners will curate digital learning paths that are relevant to industry expectations.

Government agencies will enable the program through implementing relevant policies. Industry partners, including big-tech companies, will be the key beneficiaries of the talent pipeline that the program seeks to create, and will also provide coaching and mentorship as well as internship and employment opportunities.

To learn more about the program and how to join as a partner send an email via Digitaltalent@Safaricom.co.ke

The industry digital talent program is an initiative that seeks transform Kenya through digital skills and innovation at scale, with a target to develop 1,000 digital ready youth by March 2023. This will help to address digital talent supply shortage and mismatch, economic potential for scaled digital transformation, and transform the society by providing youth with skills and a source of income.

The program brings together like minded stakeholders, each participating in various capacities including providing mentorship, internship, scholarship, sponsorship, innovation and platforms.

Here’s the full list of partners:

  1. AWS
  2. IBM
  3. GULF BANK
  4. Microsoft
  5. Google
  6. UN
  7. Sevenstoneltd
  8. eMobilis
  9. GIZ Kenya
  10. Oracle
  11. UK Government
  12. Qualcomm
  13. NCBA
  14. Huawei
  15. Nation Media Group
  16. Dell
  17. Belgium Embassy
  18. Ministry of ICT
  19. Kenya Private Sector Alliance
  20. ICT Authority
  21. National Industrial Training Authority
  22. Kenya National Innovation Agency
  23. Eldo-Hub
  24. The Forgotten Bottom Billions
  25. Kenyatta University
  26. University of Nairobi
  27. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology
  28. Technical University of Mombasa
  29. KCA University
  30. Technical University of Kenya
  31. USIU
  32. Thunderbird School of Management
  33. Strathmore University
  34. Next Arabia
  35. Think Innovators Kenya
  36. Africa Leadership Initiative
  37. Zabibu Center
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