Microsoft officially launches its Global Skills Initiative program in Kenya today. The announcement comes as the company unveils a private sector partnership agreement with Stanbic Kenya and the Kenya Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development.
The partnership aims to enhance the employability of Kenyan citizens through digital upskilling to address the skills gap within the market.
The program will be rolled out in two parts, the Global Skills Initiative (GSI) and the Emerging Markets Initiative (EMI). The GSI is what is being rolled out globally using Linkedin’s learning platform. The EMI is more about digital literacy for underserved communities. Part of the company’s coding4employment partnership with the AfDB. Both contents will be localized, customized and deployed by local implementing partners.
54 thousand Kenyan youth have engaged with the GSI since it launched in June says Kendi Ntwiga-Nderitu, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager. She also noted that Microsoft wants to help people differentiate themselves to be relevant for today and tomorrow with digitizations.
Kendi shares that some of the popular learning paths amongst Kenyan learners are skills that can be offered to the world from Kenya. These include; software development, customer service specialist, data analysts, digital marketing and project management. They make one relevant not just for Kenya, which increases the output of our youth, she adds.
At Microsoft, equipping citizens with adequate resources and technology so that they are able to upskill and reskill has always been at the centre of our work. Securing partnerships with like-minded organizations such as Stanbic Bank Foundation and the Ministry makes complete sense if we are to reach and scale for maximum impact and successfully curb the impact of the pandemic.Kendi Ntwiga-Nderitu, Microsoft Kenya Country Manager
The Global Skills Initiative in Kenya through the partnership will see about 50 thousand people skilled by end of the year. With plans to reach 500 thousand in the next three years.
Microsoft announced the skills program in June last year after the global economic crisis due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The program seeks to help 25 million people worldwide hit by job losses acquire digital skills to fill new ones.
Global Skills Initiative in Africa
When Microsoft launched its Global Skills Initiative it didn’t see a lot of adoption in Africa due to several challenges. Microsoft shared in January that 900 thousand people across the Middle East and Africa have participated in the program. Noting the popular learning paths are software developer, customer service specialist and data analyst.
This number shows a lesser fraction of the 10 million learners around the globe and what has been achieved in other regions.
Watch the Microsoft Kenya country manager make the announcement.
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