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NAIROBI, Kenya July 28- Technology sector players have launched a Digital Talent Program aimed at developing digital skills in the market by taking a sustainable approach to create a healthy digital talent channel.
The program targets to up-skill 1,000 participants in its first year based on the digital skills that are currently on 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.
Labor and Social Services Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said that the ministry will continue to push for digital penetration and support all who are willing to receive training.
“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 training and upskilling institutes to support those who are willing to be trained,” Chelugui said.
Safaricom PLC Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa 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.”
Managing Director, Microsoft Africa Development Center Catherine Muraga expressed confidence in the capability and competence of Kenya in the digital world noting that there is plenty of talent.
“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.” Muraga said.
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.
Furthermore the program will 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 as well 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.
University Deputy Vice Chancellor KCA 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.”
Government agencies will enable the program by 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.
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