As part of its continued efforts to build digital skills capacity, employability, and close the skills gap on the African continent, Microsoft 4Afrika has partnered with Pan-African EdTech company and talent marketplace Gebeya Inc. and the Technology and Innovation Institute, Ethiopia (TechIn) to launch its first virtual SkillsLab in Ethiopia. For those with long term ambitions to delve into the gaming industry it could be a watershed moment.

Through the SkillsLab programme, which develops the digital skills, coding capabilities and workplace readiness of young university graduates, Microsoft 4Afrika and its partners Gebeya and TechIn will provide apprenticeship-based training to 200 African software engineers, where they will work with experienced software engineers over the course of up to six months.

Microsoft 4Afrika’s SkillsLab programme helps students to develop essential workplace skills and provide them with practical experiences, leveraging emerging technologies to develop innovative technology solutions. The SkillsLab will work with the students virtually to develop these skills. After
graduating from the programme, apprentices have priority access to jobs through the Microsoft Partner Network. In addition, the skills gained from the programme ensure that these graduates have the know-how to become successful entrepreneurs.

“We are excited to be working with Microsoft to introduce this new version of the already previously successful SkillsLab programme as it directly aligns with Gebeya’s values of increasing employability, productivity, and producing the best of African talent,” says Amadou Daffe, CEO and Co-Founder of Gebeya. “Apprentices of the programme will receive top-line training and mentoring as well as the market-relevant hands-on experience in project management needed to meet global standards.”

In seven years, the 4Afrika initiative has produced 2,073 graduates from 19 SkillsLabs across the continent, with an 85% employment rate achieved within three months of graduating. The initiative has been recognised by the International Finance Corporation as a best practice example of
developing skills in sub-Saharan Africa.
This SkillsLab will focus on providing students with hands-on practice through 30 hours a week of training and mentoring on industry-based online courses and cloud-based product knowledge where students will earn Microsoft certification. If you are a fresh or unemployed graduate, or even a final year university student, who wants to participate in the programme and gain world class certification, you can apply here.

“In light of the economic, business and social changes that we’re seeing during the Covid-19 crisis, the need for skilling has never been higher. Africa has a unique opportunity to be a skills hub for the world and Ethiopia, with its large youth population can lead the way in enabling its youth to engage in the digital workforce,” adds Microsoft 4Afrika’s Abdella.