Microsoft has announced that more than 2300 Kenyan students are set to acquire certification by the end of the month.
The young graduates and interns will be trained by Microsoft which is aimed at closing the ever present skills gap.
There is a significant skills gap in Africa as per the World Economic Forum which restricts business growth. This includes 30% of employers in Kenya, 41% of firms in Tanzania and 9% in S.A revealing this gap.
“What’s even more important in Africa, given the youth bulge and widening skills gap, is ensuring workplace readiness for our young graduates who are finding that their degree doesn’t quite fit the requirements of 4IR and the digital economy,” says Martin Ndlovu, Head of Skills Development at Microsoft 4Afrika.
This is why Microsoft through the 4Afrika initiative launched a pilot programme in Kenya to train and certify graduates. They were chosen from several organizations that includes Andela, Cloud Factory, top coding schools, Moringa, Modcom and Ministry of ICT. This started in December 2019 but the COVID-19 pandemic led to a virtual training system being employed.
Microsoft says since the programme started, it has led to more than 800 Kenyan students be trained in Microsoft technology. The company says that the programme led to a certification of around 40% of the students. The training camps targeted almost 200 trainers who are to deliver certification training to an additional 1500 students by September 2020.
Microsoft reveals that the 4Afrika programme enlisted the services of LGIT smart solutions as the learning partner to manage this training platform. LGIT managed access to the cloud, issued exam vouchers, provided exam readiness sessions and gave students access to proprietary learning management content.
Microsoft still considers this as a pilot project. “Ultimately, we hope to roll it out to other markets at scale. This is a pilot project, but with tangible results for the people involved in the programme,” Ndlovu said.