USIU-Africa to host Kenya’s first AppFactory

Prof Paul T. Zeleza Vice Chancellor, USIU-Africa.

Despite the number of university graduates in Information Communications and Technology related courses going up, IT companies still find it difficult to recruit graduates that are ready to contribute as software developers without first taking them through extensive on-the-job training.

This was said by Paul T. Zeleza Vice Chancellor United States International University (USIU)- Africa during the launch of a new partnership between USIU-Africa and Microsoft 4Afrika.

The new partnership has seen the launch an of an AppFactory at the USIU-Africa Incubation and Innovation Centre (I2C).

“According to 2016 report by Zalego, 72% of local ICT firms have had most of their solutions developed by foreigners and not Kenyans while only 26% have had their software products developed locally by Kenyans. By enhancing local employability and entrepreneurship the App Factory aims at changing that,” added Prof Zaleza.

The factory is the first of its kind in Kenya and it aims at addressing the competency gap of ICT graduates between graduation and readiness for work.

The AppFactory will offer Kenya’s technology graduates the hands-on experience they need to succeed as software craftsmen and to be able to design, develop, implement, and manage successful software solutions.

The I2C App factory will be the 14th App Factory to be launched in partnership with Microsoft on the continent with others in Nigeria, Ghana,South Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda, Mauritius, Malawi and Ethiopia.

In 2017, 500 students raduated from the Africa’s AppFactories with 85% of them securing full time jobs within three months of graduation.

“Graduates from the AppFactory are highly sought after. Across Africa AppFactory students are learning how to build digital solutions in business, finance, healthcare, education, agriculture tourism and transportation as they become modern software engineers working with modern technologies from cloud computing to secure coding bots and data analytics,” said Luts Ziob, Dean Microsoft 4Afrika Academy.

USIU Africa will host the AppFactory while Microsoft 4Afrika will provide assistance and access to various platforms, tools and networksto successfully operate the program. The I2C AppFactory will target final year ICT Students at USIU-Africa and fresh graduates from ojter universities.

The program will see 30 students become software apprentices after every six months.  They will also receive training and mentorship by senior software craftsmen.

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