10 New Digital Skills Courses That Are Training Africans For Tech Jobs

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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Digital skills are in high demand in Africa, and this demand is expected to skyrocket in the near future.

More than 230 million jobs in Africa will require digital skills by 2030, presenting investors and educators with an estimated $130-billion opportunity to train the future workforce, according to Esi-Africa.

With this opportunity in mind, universities, private companies and governments are collaborating with partners inside and outside Africa to create new courses and qualifications that train Africa’s workforce.

Here are 10 new digital skills courses whose founders hope to prepare Africans for the future.

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Fintech degree through the University of Cape Town

In 2017, the University of Cape Town in South Africa became the first university in Africa to offer a specialized fintech degree. The degree has been designed to provide students with the necessary skills and practical knowledge to acquire or advance a career in financial services. Officially listed as a Master of Data Science with a specialization in financial technology qualification, the new degree was offered for the first time in January 2018, according to BizNewsAfrica.

Understanding data science through the Explore Data Science Academy

In 2017 the first data science training academy was established in South Africa, with a $3.8 million investment from Business Connexion Group (BCX), an information and communications tech firm. The Explore Data Science Academy aims to meet the growing demand for big data analytics and related skills in South Africa, according to BusinessTech. Based in Cape Town’s Woodstock area, the one-year Accredited Skills Data Science Program began in 2018. It focuses on practical application of data science rather than theory.

Blockchain developer training through Kingsland University

Atlanta-based Kingsland University  School of Blockchain has partnered with a Mauritian fintech management consultancy Legacy Capital to offer blockchain developer training courses in Mauritius. The developer courses prepare software experts to build and be involved in blockchain projects across industries. Kingsland also provides training for executives and government officials who want to understand the challenges and impacts of blockchain on their organizations and regulatory frameworks, according to a press release.

Bitcoin workshops through Paxful

South African cryptocurrency firm Paxful launched a series of educational workshops across Africa in 2019 to increase understanding of and access to the bitcoin economy for young people. The workshops cover everything from the basics of bitcoin to expanding on innovative use cases and business applications globally. The workshops launched in South Africa and Kenya in May. Nigeria, Ghana and other countries will be added later in the year, according to ITNewsAfrica.

Software development training through WeThinkCode

In South Africa, WeThinkCode offers two-year software development courses using untraditional ways of selecting and teaching students. The coding academy seeks to overcome structural inequalities faced by many young South Africans by bringing excluded youth into the formal economy. It claims to reduce barriers to entry such as prior educational requirements or post-completion pay-back agreements, according to IOL.

Hewlett Packard digital skills
Hewlett Packard pledged to empower 100,000 students across Africa as tech entrepreneurs. Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

Learning to be a tech entrepreneur through HP

Hewlett Packard pledged to empower 100,000 students across Africa
by 2021 through the HP foundation’s HP Life program. The program aims to give students the skills to become successful tech entrepreneurs, according to a press release.

Master’s in artificial intelligence through AIMS, Facebook and Google

U.S. tech giants Facebook and Google have partnered with The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) to offer a master’s degree in artificial intelligence. The one-year African master’s in machine intelligence (AMMI) is available at the AIMS-Rwanda campus in Kigali, according to ITNewsAfrica. The Cape Town-based institute has six centers in Africa including South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

Programming courses through CodeSpace

Cape Town-based CodeSpace is a coding course provider founded in 2014 to train students in digital skills and prepare them for jobs. As a social enterprise, the company actively addresses barriers to entry and works to reduce the digital divide. It encourages collaboration between stakeholders looking to address the skills shortage, according to DisruptAfrica.

Exploring AI tech through I-Innovate and Curiosity Machine

In South Africa, edutech company I-Innovate has partnered with U.S. developer Curiosity Machine to teach students about artificial intelligence. The AI Family Challenge allows learners and their families to explore AI technologies such as machine learning, speech recognition, prediction models, autonomous vehicles and neural networks, according to ITNewsAfrica.

Coding courses through Moringa School

Kenyan coding academy Moringa School has trained more than 1,300 students in digital skills including coding since 2014. Unemployment is the primary issue it is addressing. The issue is not lack of jobs in the tech industry, however, but rather the fact that skills offered at universities are not aligned with industry needs, according to HowWeMadeItInAfrica.