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Microsoft 4Afrika sets up an AppFactory in Kenya

by Milicent Atieno

Microsoft 4Afrika in partnership with the United States International University – Africa (USIU-Africa) have launched the first AppFactory in Kenya. The centre is located at the Incubation and Innovation Center (I2C) at the capital, Nairobi.

The goal of setting up the I2C AppFactory is to bridge the competency gap between graduates of ICT courses and skills employers are looking for. The centre will bridge that gap by providing the students market-relevant, high-level skills in developing, designing, implementing, and managing modern software solutions.

The centre will take learners through an practical-based learning designed to encourage the students to develop new skills, attitudes, and way of thinking. The students, thanks to the Microsoft Partner Network, stand a better chance of accessing first-grade jobs. The program will also increase employability of the USIU-Africa students as well as students from other local Kenyan universities that do participate in the program.

Despite hundreds of students graduating in ICT, IT companies are still finding it difficult to recruit graduates who are ready to contribute as software developers, without first taking them through extensive on-the-job training,” lamented Pro. Paul Zeleza, the Vice Chancellor of USIU-Africa.

The I2C AppFactory, becomes the 14th AppFactory to be set up by Microsoft 4Afrika across the African continent. Others are located in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Mauritius, and Egypt.

In 2017, AppFactories across the continent saw some 500 students graduate from the program. 75% of whom secured a full-time job within the first three months after their graduation. The remaining 25% went ahead and founded their own companies.

Graduates from the AppFactory are highly sought-after. Virtually all of them find work – often before they even graduate,” said Lutz Ziob, the dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy. “Across Africa, AppFactory students are learning how to build digital solutions in business, finance, healthcare, education, agriculture, tourism, and transportation. As they become experiences software engineers; working with modern technologies from cloud computing to secure coding, bots, and data analytics – startups and corporates are snatching them up.”

While Microsoft will provide the necessary assistance and access to multiple platforms, USIU-Africa will host the AppFactory. The program is particularly interested in final year ICT students at the USIU-Africa and fresh graduates from other local universities. In every six months, 30 top best students will be selected to become software apprentices and will get training and mentorship from senior software craftment.

If you wish to enrol for the AppFactory program, click here for more details.

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