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@iLabAfrica, KAM, GIZ launch jobs portal

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KAM

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) through @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University has launched a portal where job seekers and industry players can link to create synergies. The Jobs portal was unveiled during the launch of the first ever TVET Job Summit in Nairobi, the site that will act as a direct link between industries and job seeking technical skills graduates.

The portal was developed in partnership with German Development Cooperation through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) E4D/SOGA – Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa.

The portal which was designed by @iLabAfrica, Strathmore Univeristy is set to host job opportunities from businesses and industries and targets job seeking graduates from technical institutions.

Speaking at the KAM Job Summit, @iLabAfrica Director, Dr. Joseph Sevilla mentioned “It is great to see industry and education sectors come together to create job portals for the youth. These developments create employment opportunities for the youth by linking their skills to the right jobs and eventually growing the economy of the country. ”

Chief Administrative Secretary, Labour and Social Protection, Mr. Abdul Bahari noted that the mismatch between skills possessed by graduates of training institutions and those demanded by industry is one of key reasons behind the high unemployment rates in the country, especially amongst the youth.

Manufacturing is one of the pillars in the Government’s Big Four Initiative, which seeks to increase the manufacturing share of the country’s GDP from 8.4 percent in 2017 to 15 percent by 2022.Intertwined with the growth of manufacturing, is the Government’s goal of ensuring adequate employment opportunities for its citizens.”

 

Also present at the summit, Principal Secretary Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Dr. Kevit Desai reiterated the importance of the role of industry in creating opportunities for technical skills graduates, “Industry has a role to play in creating sabbatical for our trainees. We are at a time in this nation that we must look beyond technical issues, we must consider national values, cohesion, attitudinal issues and must be inculcated as a standard for international competitiveness.”

KAM Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi noted that the job site will provide grounds for industry to meet its much desired skills for growth. Adding that, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will change global definitions of work, labour and production and eventually disrupt traditional work processes.

“The job portal is the much needed intervention that industry desired to have direct linkage to technical skilled graduates. It is also an opportunity for business leaders and industries to collaborate with institutions to grow the employment ratio in the country,” said Ms Mutahi.

Also at the event, GIZ Country Director Mr. Stephen Opitz emphasized the GIZ engagement towards the development of technical skills in the country.

“Through GIZ E4D/SOGA programme, we aim to train about 12000 youth, and purpose to place about 7000, of the trained youth, by 2019.The portal will be a valuable platform that will easily connect employers and potential talents. That is why we are partnering with KAM to make this happen,” added Mr. Opitz.

Industry remains a big contributor to jobs creation, which is a major driver for economic development. The President’s Big Four Action plan highlights the manufacturing sector as a priority sector in transforming the lives of Kenyans through job and wealth creation.

 

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Autism Tech participants offered internship at Safaricom

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Two participants who graduated from the Autism tech programme in November last year have been given an internship opportunity at Safaricom.

The participants who graduated from the Autism tech training which runs for 4 months and trains students on IT and other computer/web packages will be joining the Safaricom team in April.

The participants Arnold Kanywuiro and Eric Thongori, were picked by Safaricom kenya which has a diversity and inclusion program which aims to employ people with disabilities. Their program mainly included people with physical disabilities but is now expanding to employ and offer internships even to those with learning disabilities such as Autism.

“When Safaricom heard about the @iLabAfrica Autism Tech Training program, Safaricom was interested in hiring participants for a 3-month internship program that will see them showcase their skills in the IT department dealing with Software testing among other roles.” Said Irene Gitangu the program manager of Autism Tech @iLabAfrica.

When asked about his view on the internship at Safaricom Arnold Kanywuiro had this to say. “It would be an honor for me to work with Safaricom because it was a dream for me to experience and to learn the activities the company has to offer. Safaricom is not only known in Kenya but also it is known globally and it is the best company in Africa. The technology they are using M-pesa one can be able to do money transaction. A Person can also save in his/her M-pesa account. The company was previously ran by Michael Joseph and now it is at the able hands of Bob Collymore. Safaricom is the company with many opportunities that one cannot afford to miss them but to be excited to learn them and become better. Safaricom is my dream company and it is the company that can build a great future for all Kenyans.”

Project Autism Tech was conceived in November 2015 as a possible means to addressing the problem of unemployment amongst capable individuals in the Autism Spectrum within the field of software testing. This specific area was selected because it is a model that has been successfully proven in all continents of the world except in Africa.

@iLabAfrica Research Centre in Strathmore University, was selected by the Project pioneer to partner in the execution of the pilot project. This project has seen the participants grow in the Field of IT and has helped them build their confidence in the delivery of their projects and overall as students

The project sought to create an environment whereby individuals on the Autism Spectrum could be trained and get employment on the basis of their areas of strength. Software Testing & Quality assurance is one such area where people with Autism have been known to excel and thus the project was borne.

Reports show that Autism affects an estimated 70 million people and is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the world, with a startling growth rate of around 57% since 2002. About 80% of affected people live in developing countries where knowledge and resources are scarce, with very few opportunities even for diagnosis, much less for management and treatment.

Research suggests that employers are missing out on abilities that people on the autism spectrum have in greater abundance than neuro-typical workers do such as, heightened abilities in pattern recognition and logical reasoning, as well as a greater attention to detail. In all the other continents, except Africa, people with Autism have been gainfully employed especially in IT.

The project has a long-term goal of creating a social enterprise that would provide sustainable employment to qualified individuals on the Autism Spectrum as well as those with other learning disabilities.

For more information on the program contact Irene on igitangu@strathmore.edu

 

 

 

 

Excellent Accountability advocate Opportunity for 18-28year Olds representing youth led CBOs

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In partnership with Plan UK, African Monitor and YES Ghana, Restless Development is launching the Accountability Advocates Project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The project will be implemented from April 2015 to June 2016.

Aim of the project.
1. To build the capacity of youth-led community-based organizations (CBOs) to hold governments’ accountability effectively.
2. To demonstrate how young people can lead and partner with others in the monitoring of the SDGs.
3. To promote the exchange of good practice, and foster increased sectoral coordination and North-South cooperation.

Who are we looking for?
A group of 20 dedicated, connected and knowledgeable young experts (aged 18-28) representing youth-led CBOs in Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Bulgaria, South-Africa, Malawi,, United, Kingdom ,Finland, Romania.

The program.
Between May 2015 and June 2016, the 20 selected Accountability Advocates will be trained and mentored to design and implement a national monitoring framework. Together with a national alliance of young people, peer organisations and other youth partners, they will learn how to hold their government accountable in implementing the new Sustainable Development Goals.

For full details on the application process and eligibility requirements, please check here
For any questions regarding the project or application please contact rach@restlessdevelopment.org

12 startups selected to participate in the third Village Capital FinTech for Agriculture

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Village capital

Launching at Nairobi

Village Capital recently launched its FinTech for Agriculture: East Africa 2015  accelerator programme at an event in Nairobi, revealing the cohort of 12 startups selected to participate in the programme.

The programme

The three-month accelerator programme aims to unlock innovations that increase access to financial services for smallholder farmers. Village Capital has precommitted US$100,000 in funding to be awarded to two companies in the cohort.

This year the Village Capital flagship accelerator programme returns to East Africa for the third time; with over 125 applications received for the 2015 programme from nine African countries.  Village Capital’s investment committee selected the 12 most outstanding startups on the basis of how their ideas have the potential to increase incomes for smallholder farmers by improving their access to financial services.

 The 12 startup firms selected to join the three month programme are:

Atikus Insurance: Expands access to credit by increasing the capacity of MSME lenders via reimagined insurance and technology risk solutions.

Chamasoft: Web and mobile app to automate record keeping for investment groups.

Ensibuuko: Builds ICT solutions to enable enterprises deliver financial services efficiently and to scale rapidly, reaching underserved communities.

FarmDrive: Transforming how smallholder farmers access financial services.

Farmerline: Provides accurate and timely agricultural information to farmers and also provides technology to stakeholders to work better.

M­Shamba: Interactive platform for smallholder farmers and traders.

Mobipay: Technology solutions to various economic sectors to drive commerce and trade.

NanoCredit Technologies: Lending and de­risking engines, providing structured digital finance for small farms.

Rangerland Solutions: Online livestock marketing platform that directly connects buyers and sellers, reducing marketing costs.

Redcore Interactive: remit.ug is a platform for online international money transfers to mobile money in Africa.

Smart Money: Free­of­charge branchless mobile banking to unbanked rural communities in Uganda and Tanzania.

Yield Uganda: Sources high quality, traceable food products for local and export markets.

 Activities

The chosen startups will commence the three month programme focusing on business model canvassing, customer hypothesis testing, financial modeling, partnership and customer development, and investor engagement.  The cohort will present to potential partners and customers at a pitch day, as well as pitch to investors at an investor demo day.

Selection

Village Capital has pre­committed US$100,000 in investment to be shared by two startups in the cohort.  The winners of the funding will be chosen by the accelerator participants at the end of the programme in June.  Each of the two selected companies will receive US$50,000 in funding.

“Thanks to the pool of talented and innovative startups that applied for a place on our programme from across East Africa, it was a challenging process to select the final 12.  We have been truly impressed with the quality of applications received this year,” John Mulqueen, Financial Associate at Village Capital said, speaking at the launch event.

“The Village Capital FinTech for Agriculture programme is great for remit.ug because it provides us and other entrepreneurs with an opportunity to grow, and to help a very critical group of people ­ the financially underserved. We are excited about networking and sharing with other entrepreneurs in the space who are facing the same challenges,” said Stone Atwine, chief executive officer (CEO) and co­founder of Recore International, one of the selected startups.

“Through enabling smallholder farmers to use financial technologies, Africa’s agri­potential will surely be unlocked.  We at Mobipay are very excited to be involved in the Village Capital programme, which will be a key player in realising Africa’s potential,” said Charles Kiinde, founder of Mobipay.

What is expected of the programme graduates?

Programme graduates are expected to increase their revenue growth by 4.5 times, and distribute goods and/or services to 200,000 customers within the two years following completion of the accelerator.  Village Capital estimates the companies forming the cohort will create 200 jobs over the next two years in East Africa, with an estimated 60% of jobs going to individuals living below the poverty line.

Launch of Master the Mainframe Contest

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IBM is launching Master the Mainframe contest to universities between April 1st and May 29th 2015.

Master the Mainframe is an exciting opportunity for students to gain real-world experience using enterprise computing skills. Hosted at high schools, colleges and universities all over the world, this unique mainframe computing contest is designed to equip students with mainframe
knowledge, and challenge their skills in a hands-on coding experience.

To compete in the Master the Mainframe contest, no experience with mainframes is necessary. In fact, the contest is designed for students with little or no mainframe experience. Students just need to bring drive and competitive spirit, and they will be ready to compete.

                                                                Prizes
IBM is offering a number of prizes to students at the different stages of the contest:
– Backpacks
– Bluetooth headsets, speakers and
– Smart phones
– All paid expense trips to IBM MEA HQ in Dubai and IBM USA
– Career edge and visibility to IBM mainframe clients across key industries                      

Important Details   

  • Students can register on this link
  • For more inquireis please send an email here
  • Please find here few slides explaining the contest:

                                               Remember to share this information with your friends