VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a leading innovator in enterprise software, and @iLabAfrica-Strathmore University’s’ Research and Innovation Centre, today announced they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the University as the first Regional VMware IT Academy for East Africa. @iLabAfrica is a Centre of Excellence in Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology at the University.
The centre spearheads Research and Innovation in Information Communication Technology for the Development (ICT4D) of ecosystems towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to contribute toward Kenya’s Vision 2030. It is involved in interdisciplinary research, students’ engagement and has partnered with over 800 institutions (universities, NGOs, foundations, and government) worldwide and other funding agencies.
In this role, @iLabAfrica-Strathmore University plans to continue to offer VMware IT Academy training as part of its curriculum. Still, it will also be responsible for implementing the VMware IT Academy programme across other higher educational institutions in East Africa. This will help bolster digital skills across the continent and encourage economic prosperity linked to digital skills transfer.
“We are delighted to be selected as the first Regional VMware IT Academy in East Africa. Over the last ten months, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that the members of our Faculty of IT have the right skills to support the curriculum. That they are in a position to assist in empowering our youth to embrace better and accelerate their knowledge of the digital skills required to support and building modern, technology-centric businesses across the continent,” said Dr.Joseph Sevilla, Director, @iLabAfrica – Strathmore University.
“Last year, we announced that our goal was to become the first regional lead. Achieving this in less than a year is testimony to both our commitment as Strathmore University, as well as the desire amongst young Africans to embrace the new digital future,” he noted.
Research has shown that the African continent continues to face a technical skills shortage, further highlighted by the sweeping impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on business’ ability to embrace remote working policies. Digitalisation is expected to play a vital role in supporting the region’s post-pandemic recovery efforts, and investment in digital skills is a crucial element of this. As a Regional VMware IT Academy, @iLabafrica-Strathmore University will help accelerate the delivery of VMware IT Academy training, technical skills and certifications to learners as well as learning institutions across East Africa.
“In order to facilitate our customers and partners in Africa to better gear their businesses towards being digital and cloud-first businesses, we need to equip people with the digital skills required to support this shift,” said Everline Kamau, Strategic Partner Business Manager – East Africa, VMware.
“Working with @iLabafrica-Strathmore University has highlighted the hunger amongst Africa’s youth for technical skills that support virtualisation, digitalisation and cloud-first technologies, as well as the tenacity of educational institutions to ensure they have the right partnerships in place to enable the delivery of world-class curriculum.”
She further added that, “Working with @iLabafrica-Strathmore University has highlighted the hunger amongst Africa’s youth for technical skills that support virtualisation, digitalisation and cloud-first technologies, as well as the tenacity of educational institutions to ensure they have the right partnerships in place to enable the delivery of world-class curriculum. This is a big milestone for learners in the region, and we are committed to the continual development of this collaboration, curriculum and Strathmore’s educators.”
According to PwCs 22nd Annual CEO Survey, “There is a shortage of skilled talent to clean, integrate, and extract value from Big Data and move beyond baby steps toward artificial intelligence (AI). One of the more striking findings in this year’s survey was the fact that — despite billions of dollars of investment and priority positioning on the C-suite agenda — the gap between the information CEOs need and what they get has not closed in the past ten years.”
Already a VMware IT Academy, Strathmore has made significant strides in incorporating and embedding the VMware curriculum into its Faculty of IT. In addition, to date, it has over 100 students enrolled in a host of VMware-led courses. To support these learners, it has four trainers certified up to vSphere 6.5., seven certified up to VCA-DBT and 12 trainers who have completed an introduction to virtualisation course.
VMware IT Academy works with a global network of educational institutions to provide students access to high-quality learning certification opportunities and hands-on lab experiences with their technologies. They do this by providing free curriculum and materials, intending to jump-start their software careers.
Strathmore University plans to offer VMware IT Academy training to other educational institutions, and this training will be delivered on VMware-provided devices using VMware-provided curriculum. The University has appointed a dedicated administration team to manage the academy. It is currently deploying train-the-trainer sessions to recruit additional academics from various universities in the region to the programme. It is also in the process of rolling out a student ambassador programme in numerous universities. It will offer life skills sessions by way of career talks, job shadowing and a-day-in-the-life webinars.
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