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Virtualize Africa expands to enhance digital skills in Africa

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By Chris Onuoha

A leading innovator in enterprise software, VMware IT Academy, has announced the expansion of its initiative, the ‘Virtualize Africa’ programme. As part of this expansion, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was share with Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya in a workshop “Innovating Education in Africa Expo” held on Tuesday August 20, in Botswana.

According to a release available to the media, it stated that the overarching goal is to empower the fast-growing, young African population to enter the digital workforce with confidence and expertise, helping to address the skills gap and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent.

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The source also reveals that the African labour market is experiencing significant disruption due to fast-paced technological advances. With the emergence of new fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine-learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, business models have radically changed and so have the skill sets required by individuals to thrive in this new environment.

Through the VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa programme, VMware is collaborating with key stakeholders across academia, government and industry to equip African students with the technical skills and certifications required to succeed in the digital economy.

It also stated that Strathmore University in Kenya has built an international reputation for its world-class academic teaching, professional training, and research in technology. Working with VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa, the University has already begun integrating a range of VMware developed courses into its curricula that cover topics such as virtualisation, cloud computing, AI and IoT. This is facilitated through subsidised software licenses and certification vouchers from VMware.

“We are delighted to be part of VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa. It provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain technical skills and industry-recognised VMware certifications, helping to jumpstart their careers with the best knowledge and skills of international standards.

Our shared goal with VMware is to become the VMware IT Academy regional lead for East Africa, training lecturers and students from Strathmore and other universities plus facilitating their participation in the programme. Increased access to this type of education and training for students is a critical part of Africa realising the potential of its youth and a prosperous Africa,” said Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director, @iLabAfrica, Strathmore University.

Continuing, he said, “@iLabAfrica’, a centre of excellence in research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology at the University, is spearheading the rollout with 20 trainers and over 100 students at the University participating.

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The students will be able to benefit from access to high-quality learning online resources, hands-on lab experiences to develop technical skills, and the opportunity to achieve industry-recognised VMware certification to complement their chosen fields of study.”

“Skills development is recognised as a key component for economic growth and prosperity. VMware IT Academy: Virtualize Africa helps educational institutions align curricula with the skills needed for the labour market, thereby building talent for Africa’s jobs of today and tomorrow. Our discussions to form a strategic collaboration with Strathmore University is a significant milestone in this programme, and will bring new skills and opportunities to its students, and in the future to many more young people in East Africa,” said Thomas MacKay, Senior Director for Global Strategic Programs, VMware.

Vanguard

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