25 October 2012 - Nairobi, Kenya - The Government of Kenya, through the Kenya ICT Board, and Nokia Corporation have announced a collaboration aimed at growing the Kenyan Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, using mobile solutions to accelerate socio-economic development across the country.
Through the agreement, Nokia intends to build technical and business skills of Kenyan mobile startups through collaboration with local universities and innovation hubs.
Sinapis Entrepreneur Fellows Program Now Open for Applications!
If you are an entrepreneur with a big idea in the start-up or early stage of growing your business and are struggling to get the capital and training you need to succeed, this opportunity may be for you! Sinapis is now accepting applications for its 2012 Entrepreneur Fellowship Program. Sinapis is a NGO in Nairobi dedicated to providing advanced business training, investment capital and world class mentorship for the most innovative, scalable and sustainable start-ups in Kenya. Sinapis partners with Acton Business School, an accredited and highly ranked MBA school in the US. Accepted entrepreneurs receive six months of intensive, advanced business training that is customized for early stage businesses. The highest performers that graduate from the Sinapis Entrepreneur Fellowship Program get to compete in front of investors from the US for investment capital of between $10-$100,000. Those that graduate from the program also receive a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Acton Business School giving them more credibility as business leaders and are presented to other growth financing institutions for larger, secondary rounds of financing. Sinapis is highly selective and is looking for serious entrepreneurs that are dedicated to bringing their idea to fruition. Businesses must be less than 2 years in operations to qualify, and the CEO must be Kenyan. Though Sinapis accepts businesses across all sectors if they meet our criteria, this year we are especially interested in Agribusiness, IT and Green Technologies businesses. The program is not academic or theoretical in nature but rather extremely practical and focuses on applying concepts learned in class in each entrepreneur's business. Entrepreneurs joining the program will attend 6 hours of class per week in the evenings and be expected to spend 15 hours on implementation within their businesses.
Because the program is so comprehensive, it costs Sinapis nearly Ksh 1 million to put each entrepreneur through our program. Therefore, in exchange for tuition, Sinapis asks that each business accepted into its program donate 10% of its equity to the NGO. Should Sinapis graduates do well, Sinapis will use the returns from this equity to fund the next generation of start-up entrepreneurs to go through its program. In this way, successful Kenyan entrepreneurs of today will help tomorrow's entrepreneurs to be successful and a virtuous cycle will be sustained. If a business does not successfully receive investment capital from our investor base, Sinapis will relinquish the equity in that business. Therefore, there is no downside for joining the program even if the entrepreneur does not graduate. Sinapis also charges a small materials fee of Ksh 24,000 which will be paid in three installments over the six month period. Scholarships may be available for those who truly need it. Application deadline has been extended to May 15, 2012. Please apply online at www.sinapisgroup.org/entrepreneurs.php
You can learn more on our website www.sinapisgroup.org and through the attached brochure. We are also holding an info session at the time and place below:
When: Thursday, April 19 7-9pm or Wednesday, April 25th 9-10:30am
Where: For April 19 info session, Biblica Africa conference room, Dennis Pritt Road, Caledonia Nairobi (next to St. George's primary school).
For April 25th info session, Riara Corporate Suites Riara Road Nairobi (behind Nakumatt Junction) 2nd floor to your left after exiting elevator
Why: To answer questions about the Sinapis Entrepreneur Fellows Program from potential applicants. Light food and beverages will be served.
The Kenya ICT Board is pleased to announce the launch of the NetHope Academy Intern Program in Kenya! The goal of the program is to help tech savvy, unemployed youth find work in the ICT sector by providing practical work experience, training (technical and soft skills), and mentoring needed to be successful. The target audience is recent graduates, those who are about to graduate from university/college in an ICT related field, and those who have demonstrated a strong passion for technology. Based on recent successes in Haiti, NetHope is expanding the program across Africa.
The program gives entry level IT professionals the chance to expand their knowledge beyond the classroom by providing the practical hands on experience needed to be successful in the field. NetHope works closely with world class technology sector partners including Cisco, Microsoft, Accenture, ESRI, Global VSAT Forum and others to bring their best offerings to the Intern Program. Interns also receive ongoing coaching, mentoring, and soft skills training throughout the six month long program. Employers find this to be one of the most important elements of the program.
The number one goal is helping unemployed youth find jobs. NetHope is only offering this program for those who are unemployed and able to take full time work within 90 days of completing the program (i.e., they are not going back to school and do not already have an IT job).
NetHope is currently accepting online applications from now until February 26 via this link: http://nethopeacademy.org/it-internships/
Successful candidates will have:
- A strong and demonstrated passion for technology and desire to pursue a career in IT.
- University or College degree or diploma in an IT related field such as Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Management of Information Systems, Telecoms preferred but not required.
- Ability to speak, write, and understand English. All IT training will be given in English.
- Positive attitude and good work ethic
- Ability to commit to 32 hours/week of work at host organization and 8 hours/week of study for 6 months starting in April 2012.
- Able to attend two week training session in the late March/early April timeframe.
- Preference given to women and those coming from severely disadvantaged backgrounds and rural areas.
The Kenya program timeline is as follows:
Application Process Open: Now – February 26
Online application can be found here: http://nethopeacademy.org/it-internships/ .Successful applicants will be notified if they are moving on to the next round of interviews by March 2.
In-Person Interviews and Technical Assessment: March 9-10.Successful applicants will be notified if they have been selected to participate in the program by March 14.
Boot Camp Training: March 19-30.Successful applicants must be able to attend this mandatory training from 8 A.M. – 5 P.M. every day during this two week period.
Internships Period: April – September 2012.All interns are required to work 32 hours per week and complete at least 8 hours of self study per week. NetHope will arrange for these internship placements and will provide ongoing support to interns, IT Mentors, and host organizations.
Additional Program Information & Press Releases
- NetHope Academy Website www.nethopeacademy.org
- Clinton Global Initiative Announcement http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-brindley/clinton-initiative-it_b_973076.html
- Video Features of NetHope Academy Interns
- NetHope Academy Profiles http://nethopeacademy.org/about/faces-of-nethope-academy/
- NetHope Website www.nethope.org
Kenya ICT Board launched on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 a certification program that will offer credential examination for software developers in Kenya. The Certification program dubbed ‘Chipuka’ which stands for “To Emerge” is being designed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University. The certification will help employers to easily identify software developers that have the skills necessary to carry out IT jobs to a professional and world class standard.
Responding to software skills gap
A study carried out in 2011 by the Kenya ICT Board and IDC, revealed that there is currently a software skills gap in Kenya. Although there is a high demand for software development in Kenya, few companies source these skills locally. At least a quarter of companies surveyed said they were not satisfied with the quality of IT professionals in the local market. As a result, nearly a third, plan to contract external providers.
The survey predicts that the demand for software developers will grow by 135% between 2011 and 2013.
In order to mediate the software skills gap, the Kenya ICT Board is partnering with local and international universities to ensure companies have an easy and reliable way to identify skilled software developers in Kenya.
“In order to spur innovation in ICT, we need our youth to be equipped with marketable skills,” says Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information and Communications, “This certification will help us market our talent and grow the job market for young developers.”
Localized cross-vendor certification
The Kenya ICT Board recognizes that there are a number of certification programs for software engineers available in Kenya. But many of those programs only test for general knowledge of software, rather than actually requiring someone to write software. Others certify competence for only certain software environments or only a certain vendor’s tool set. Chipuka will be the first “authentic” examination that would be attuned to the needs of the industry in general and incorporate a broad selection of professional tools.
A pilot exam will be ready by March 2013; the certification should be fully operational in Kenya by October 2013
Kenya ICT Board and NetHope International have signed an MOU concerned with adequately tapping into or enhancing Kenya's ICT skills pool
The Summary of factors that led to the signing of the MOU can be listed as follows :
- They both recognise the strategic influence of ICT on economic growth, employment and prosperity and its contribution to the creation of the global knowledge society.
- They both acknowledge that women and natives of rural communities are under-represented in the IT sector
- There exists a gap between the technological academic experience gained from various institutions and practical application through work experience which needs to be addressed.
- They Recognise the vital role that the combined efforts of private sector organizations entities can play to that effect;
- They Wish to strengthen the ties between international NGOs, internationally renowned technology companies and Kenya in the ICT sector with a strategic relationship.
The Parties have come to the following conclusion:
The Kenya ICT Board and NetHope are keen to mutually contribute to growth and development of the ICT sectors in Kenya and help unemployed youth gain the skills so that they may become employed in the IT sector. Towards this end, the parties agree to implement the activities outlined below in a joint manner:
- Identify employers that will take on NetHope Academy interns and hire NetHope Academy Graduates including other government ministries in need of ICT resources
- Support employer outreach by convening groups of potential employers
- Identify potential implementing partners for the NetHope Academy programs including, but not limited to, universities, Kenyan based NGOs and technical schools.
- Secure additional funding for the NetHope Academy so that even more young Kenyans may take advantage of the program
- Exchange information that will allow NetHope Academy to reach more young women and natives of rural Kenya
- Establish such other partnerships as may be beneficial for the extension and sustainability of the NetHope Academy programs.
- Serve as facilitators for building alliances between each other’s countries, companies and sectoral organizations, and promoting bilateral relationships.
- Serve on NetHope Academy Intern Program Advisory Board attending at least 2 face to face meetings year and 4 teleconferences.
The parties shall conduct the above-mentioned activities through regular consultation between the parties’ representatives. Each party will appoint a member of staff through which contact will be co-ordinated.
Latest Developments: Net Hope Academy - Next steps in Kenya