Tech (443)

Plagued by high youth unemployment, Kenya is turning to innovative technology solutions to equip its young workforce and bridge the skills gap. The challenge remains daunting, however, reflecting the complexities of the Kenyan labor market.

Kenya launched the National Skills Inventory (NSI) on Monday, January 29, in a government-led initiative to combat youth unemployment and connect young people with relevant jobs, both locally and internationally.

Backed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, the NSI aims to create a comprehensive digital database of skills available across the country. This data will be used to match unemployed young people with job opportunities that align with their qualifications and market needs.

"The digital skills database will support the government's skills migration agenda that is geared to ensure that surplus labor is henceforth exported to enhance the inflow of diaspora remittances," said Shadrack Mwadime, Labour and Skills Development Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. 

The NSI launch follows the formation of an Inter-Ministerial Committee dedicated to its development and ongoing management. This committee aims to establish a comprehensive framework for capturing and utilizing individual skill sets, contributing to the national target of reducing unemployment, which the International Labour Organization put at 4.9% in 2022. 

Bilateral agreements signed with several European and Middle Eastern countries over recent years pave the way for smoother job placement and migration for skilled Kenyans. The ambitious goal is to export at least one million workers annually over the next five years.

By providing youth with a platform to showcase their skills and access international opportunities, the NSI is a significant step towards tackling Kenya's unemployment challenge. The initiative's potential to boost remittances and stimulate the national economy further strengthens its importance.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 30 janvier 2024 16:36 Written by

Fueled by tech ambitions, Nigeria rolls out initiatives with private partners to revitalize its economy and boost citizen empowerment.

Tech4Dev, a social enterprise promoting digital inclusivity in Africa, has launched "DigitalForAllChallenge 2.0," aiming to train two million Nigerians in basic and intermediate digital skills. Backed by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Nigeria's National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the initiative targets youth, young adults, and civil servants across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

"The Digital for All Challenge is a free digital skill-building competition and program to increase digital literacy in Nigeria and ignite interest in obtaining digital skills and certifications using online platforms," stated NITDA.

The challenge unfolds in two stages: training followed by a competitive track. Participants need to pass a post-training assessment to enter the competition, consisting of national, regional, and a grand final stage. Over 150 million naira ($166,657) in cash prizes, laptops, tablets, and other rewards await winners.

DigitalForAllChallenge aligns with the Nigerian government's push for digital literacy, aiming to achieve a 70% rate by 2027 and cultivate three million tech talents. As Kashifu Abdullahi, NITDA Director General, highlighted, this initiative seeks to address both domestic and global talent needs, contributing to the global value chain.

Starting February 5, the program offers three tracks: young learners (8-15), young adults (16-45), and civil servants. This comprehensive approach aims to equip diverse cohorts with essential digital skills, empowering them to participate in the nation's digital future.

Samira Njoya

Posted On vendredi, 26 janvier 2024 15:53 Written by

Nigeria is pushing ahead with plans to eliminate paper from its civil service by 2030, but the ambitious digitalization drive faces a major hurdle: a lack of necessary skills among government employees.

The Aig-Imoukhuede Foundation, a Nigerian organization championing public sector transformation, has partnered with Microsoft to bolster the digital skills of civil servants across the country.

Formalized on January 19 through the Wootlab Foundation, the collaboration supports Nigeria's ambitious goal of a tech-savvy public sector ready for the digital age.

"This partnership signifies our joint commitment to crafting impactful training programs that bridge the digital divide and drive positive transformations," said the Wootlab Foundation. "Together, we are embarking on an extensive training initiative that will redefine skill development and ensure a workforce well-equipped for the digital future."

This recent collaboration is part of a strategic initiative by OHCSF to ready the public sector workforce for the digital era. The initiative follows the implementation of an enterprise content management solution (ECMS), supported by the Aig-Imoukhuede Foundation, aimed at empowering all work processes. The partnership aligns with the federal government’s goal to train all civil servants in the country in digital skills.

Under this cooperation, the Wootlab Foundation will facilitate the provision of on-demand digital skills for government employees, enabling them to contribute to the digitization of vital public services and stimulate ongoing innovation within the civil service.

It’s noteworthy that Nigeria, through this initiative and others, aims to rank its civil service among the world’s top 20 by 2025 and achieve complete digitization by 2030.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 25 janvier 2024 14:04 Written by

In recent years, the Egyptian government has made significant investments in the digital sector. This substantial commitment testifies to the crucial importance of outsourcing in stimulating Egypt's digital exports and fostering its economic growth.

Egypt’s digital services export sector saw a significant increase in revenues in 2023, reaching $6.2 billion, a 26.5% rise from the previous year’s $4.9 billion, according to the country’s Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Amr Talaat.

Speaking to the Egyptian Senate on Monday, Talaat attributed the growth to recent foreign investments, including agreements with 74 international and local firms to hire 60,000 outsourcing experts since November 2022. The government’s efforts to boost the number of self-employed workers in the outsourcing industry to 550,000 also contributed to the positive figures.

The investments are part of the Digital Strategy for the Outsourcing Industry 2022-2026, a government initiative launched in February 2022. The strategy targets four key areas: IT services, business process services, knowledge services, and engineering and R&D.

The initiative aims to triple digital export revenues to nearly $9 billion by 2026 and create over 34,000 jobs by 2025, aligning with the sector’s impressive performance. The sector recorded digital exports of $4.9 billion in fiscal year 2021/2022, a significant increase from the $3.6 billion in fiscal year 2018/2019.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 25 janvier 2024 13:07 Written by

Across Africa, concerns over slowing economic growth and over-reliance on commodities are driving a renewed focus on diversification. Governments are recognizing the urgency of implementing supportive policies, training programs, and financing initiatives to catalyze innovation and unlock new avenues for growth.

Chad Innovation Hub (CIH), a youth entrepreneurship incubator, and the National Agency for Investments and Exports (ANIE) have formalized a partnership aimed at fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development in Chad.

The strategic alliance, announced on Tuesday, January 23, seeks to enhance Chad's entrepreneurial ecosystem by promoting open innovation and stimulating projects in digital technology, the circular economy, corporate social responsibility, and green business models. The partnership will also focus on empowering women and young people, particularly in rural areas, ANIE said in a statement.

The memorandum of understanding between ANIE and CIH includes provisions for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the establishment of a close collaborative relationship to mutually promote the private sector and diversify the economy.

The collaboration aligns with the government's policy to support entrepreneurship in Chad, which recently led to the creation of an FCFA30 billion  ($49.6 million) fund. The fund is designed to provide credit guarantees for entrepreneurs and finance key projects in sectors such as agriculture, livestock, and new technologies.

The agreement signals the start of a promising alliance that positions Chad on the international innovation stage. CIH, an award-winning organization, strengthens the belief that innovation and entrepreneurship are key drivers for a prosperous and sustainable future for Chad.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 24 janvier 2024 14:19 Written by

Since 2020, African technology entrepreneurs have been struggling to access funds. The growth recorded since 2018 has been slowing down and investors are becoming more cautious.

African technology startups secured $1.8 billion in funding in 2023, a 40% decline from $3 billion in 2022, according to data from CB Insights' "State of Venture" report published January 4. The total represents 486 deals, down nearly 49% from 709 in 2022.

Africa's 2023 funding figure falls nearly as low as 2020's $1 billion (493 deals), a year heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This decline reflects the relative underperformance of major tech ecosystems like Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt, which typically attract the most investment and drive overall figures.

Nigeria, for instance, saw a sharp drop, with startups raising $224 million in 2023 compared to $531 million in 2022 and over $1 billion in 2021. This trend aligns with a global slowdown in startup funding, driven by rising interest rates at central banks worldwide.

"In the past 18 to 24 months, particularly due to rising interest rates in the United States and Europe, capital for African startups has significantly diminished. This has led to a scarcity of funds for these startups, many of which relied on this capital for growth and ongoing development. As a result, these startups have found themselves in precarious positions, necessitating cost structure reductions and subsequent staff layoffs," said Tamim El Zein, founder of Seedstars Africa Ventures, in an interview with RFI in November 2023. 

 Africa's 40% decline is lower than those seen in other regions with the global trend remaining concerning. Latin America saw a 56% drop to $3.3 billion, Europe a 45.25% decline to $48.4 billion, and Asia a 49.48% fall to $53.4 billion.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On mardi, 23 janvier 2024 14:50 Written by

Across Africa, a digital revolution is sweeping through, reshaping the aspirations and opportunities for a generation. Driving this transformation is the critical need for young people to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in the digital age.

The Congolese government officially initiated the construction of “Caria Tech Village,” a technology park, on Wednesday, January 17, in Kintélé. The park is envisioned as a hub for learning and development activities for young incubators and startups in Congo.

Léon Juste Ibombo, Minister of Posts, Telecommunications, and the Digital Economy, emphasized the project’s strategic significance in a world where the digital economy is central. He stated that Caria Tech Village would house the entire digital ecosystem and be built on the site of the former Union Africaine des Postes et Télécommunication.

The park, to be constructed over 2024 by Phone Control, a Tunisian company specializing in digital infrastructure, will be supervised by the Ministry of Digital Affairs and the Ministry of Scientific Research.

Upon completion, Caria Tech Village will provide high-quality training courses for young people, ranging from bachelor’s degrees to doctorates. It will also serve as a space for industry professionals to enhance their skills in innovative technologies. Beyond its training programs, the park will act as a dynamic platform for start-ups, aiding them in fully developing their projects and creating added value.

The project aligns with a government program dedicated to learning and practicing development activities for young incubators. This initiative aligns with President Denis Sassou N’Guesso’s vision: he declared 2024 as the year of youth in Congo.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 23 janvier 2024 14:46 Written by

The South African online marketplace Zandaux is eying the entire continent but, its initial expansion efforts are targeted towards an East African nation. 

South African e-commerce platform Zandaux announced its entry into Kenya on Wednesday, marking its first step in a broader expansion across the African continent. The company aims to connect African suppliers with a vast regional market, fostering business development and unlocking growth opportunities.

"Anything that has a market in Kenya will have a market on the entire African continent," remarked Zandaux CEO Franck Obambi Ngatse. "On Zandaux, you can buy something from a factory in Mombasa and have it shipped to Kinshasa. The payment is only released to the seller after the product has arrived, and we have a robust tracking system in place for products from seller to buyer."

This expansion coincides with Zandaux's current pursuit of 3 billion Kenyan shillings ($18.5 million) in funding to fuel its continental operations. Kenya is seen as a strategic gateway to other African markets, capitalizing on its established e-commerce infrastructure and growing consumer base. Statista projects the number of e-commerce users in Africa to reach 520 million by 2024, highlighting the immense potential for platform growth.

"The future is there, but all the actors need to come together. The fintech brings payment solutions, and the governments make sure that the e-commerce is complete perfectly or even drop down some barriers, especially when it comes to input," Obambi Ngatse emphasized.

Adoni Conrad Quenum


Posted On vendredi, 19 janvier 2024 11:14 Written by

The lack of access to finance continues to be a significant hurdle for Africa's burgeoning startup ecosystem, hindering the continent's economic development potential. Despite a vibrant and growing entrepreneurial landscape, many promising startups struggle to secure the investments they need to scale up and thrive.

Nigerian tech entrepreneur Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (photo, left), co-founder of Andela and Flutterwave, has joined forces with Mia von Koschitzky-Kimani (photo), another experienced technology player, to launch Accelerate Africa, a new initiative aimed at fueling the growth of startups across the continent. The announcement was made in an exclusive interview with Techcabal.

The project, backed by a $750,000 grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide support to startups in all 54 African countries. The first cohort, consisting of ten pre-seed and early-stage companies from various sectors, will participate in an intensive eight-week program.

Combining elements of business development, technology integration, financing, and community building, the acceleration program will take place in both Lagos and Nairobi. Its goal is to empower African start-ups to scale faster and more sustainably.

At the program's culmination, the participating ventures will have the opportunity to pitch their projects to investors, including angel investors with the capacity to inject up to $500,000 into promising initiatives.

Aboyeji and von Koschitzky-Kimani's vision for Accelerate Africa is ambitious. They hope to unlock the vast potential of Africa's entrepreneurial spirit and support a significant number of promising start-ups, particularly at a time when international accelerator support is waning.

"The big idea is to become the Y Combinator (YC) of Africa," Aboyeji said, referring to the renowned American accelerator. "We are looking for founders with great ideas and massive market opportunities. The impressive ones who would have gotten into YC but can't because YC is closing their doors to Africa, so to speak."

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 18 janvier 2024 17:39 Written by

In line with numerous nations, Nigeria is striving to establish itself as a leader in the global digital landscape. The government is collaborating with seasoned industry participants to realize this ambition.

Nigeria will launch the National Broadband Alliance (NBAN) in the first quarter of 2024, aiming to accelerate internet access rollout nationwide. The initiative targets eight states initially, including Edo, Ogun, Kwara, Katsina, Imo, Abia, Borno, and Nasarawa, seeking to address challenges hindering fiber optic network adoption and returns.

"The alliance will bring together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to collaboratively develop a sustainable business model(s) for driving the adoption and consumption of internet in key critical public institutions (schools, hospitals, government offices, libraries and markets etc) across the nation," a government document revealed.

This project aligns with the government's digital inclusion goals, aiming to build a collaborative platform for technology players and share resources to support the national internet access program.

Nigeria's internet penetration currently stands at around 45.57%, with only 39% of the population within 5 kilometers of fiber optic networks, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The average download speed of 26.48 Mbps ranks the country 89th globally, highlighting the need for improved connectivity, particularly in rural areas. The NBAN aims to address these challenges by facilitating rapid broadband deployment, leveraging expertise and resources from partners and international organizations, and ensuring all segments of society participate in the digital economy.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 18 janvier 2024 16:47 Written by
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