Microsoft and Gebeya to upskill 300,000 developers in Africa including Kenya

Microsoft and Gebeya Inc., the leading Pan-African SaaS-enabled tech talent marketplace, have partnered together to launch a new skills and jobs matching platform called Microsoft.Gebeya.com. The collaboration seeks to play a significant role in closing the tech skills gap in Africa, fostering job creation, and entrepreneurship, and empowering the continent’s youth with in-demand digital skills. 

Through the partnership, Microsoft and Gebeya aim to upskill 300,000 developers across eight countries over the next three years, including Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Nigeria, Egypt and Mozambique. Applications will open in January 2024 to candidates with backgrounds in tech development and computer science and who have a keen interest in building solutions in the cloud.

This latest initiative will build on existing collaboration between Microsoft and Gebeya. In 2020, the two companies partnered together to launch the first virtual SkillsLab in Ethiopia. The SkillsLab, which was launched to develop digital skills and coding capabilities among university graduates, provided apprentice-based training to over 1,200 African software engineers. 

Over the past seven years, Gebeya has developed a proven track record in implementing upskilling and talent-matching programmes in Africa and now aims to scale its impact by partnering with Microsoft. “Our partnership with Microsoft represents a monumental step towards realising the full potential of Africa’s talent. Through comprehensive upskilling and certification, we are creating job opportunities and technopreneurs (tech entrepreneurs) to pave the way for Africa’s youth to shape the digital economy’s future,” said Amadou Daffe, CEO of Gebeya. 

Microsoft has had a presence in Africa for almost 30 years and has played a key role in helping to build the continent’s digital capacity through various skilling and employability programmes, with more than 4 million young people across the continent upskilled over the last five years. “Young tech talent has never been more important to Africa,” commented Gerald Maithya, General Manager, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office. “If we are to harness the continent’s full innovation potential, we must begin by nurturing the tech professionals who will create the digital solutions needed to positively impact Africa and beyond. As a company built by developers and for developers, our goal at Microsoft is to provide the technology and expertise needed to grow Africa’s next generation of young developers.”

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Through this new collaboration, Microsoft and Gebeya are united in their commitment to addressing the African and global tech skills gap, positioning the continent as a hub of technology talent. Key highlights of this partnership include:

Empowering African Tech Talent

Drawing on technical expertise and support from Microsoft to align with industry standards, Gebeya is developing curriculums and skilling programmes to train 300,000 developers on building solutions on Microsoft Cloud over three years, with an ambitious target of 150,000 developers being trained in the first year.

Developers who embark on this training journey will also be equipped with advanced proficiency in GitHub Copilot, enabling them to craft applications and software with unprecedented speed and reduced errors. Microsoft’s Africa Transformation Office (ATO) will provide vital support for platform deployment and curriculum development, offering Azure credits and marketing campaign assistance.

Matching Skills to Opportunities and Fostering Talent Growth 

The collaboration extends beyond skills development: Microsoft.gebeya.com will certify 100,000 developers on the given curriculum, with a merit-based recognition system in place. Through the platform, these trained Microsoft cloud developers will then be matched directly with companies looking for their specific talents and services. 

Gebeya will also onboard Microsoft-certified professionals onto the dedicated Microsoft talent marketplace, drawing on robust vetting processes to ensure talent quality. To accelerate the hiring process, Gebeya will provide talent support with profile development, and also extend support to companies in search of Microsoft-certified talent. 

Creating AI-Driven Employment Opportunities 

With technical support from Microsoft, Gebeya is developing AI solutions on Azure, making it simpler for African youth to access meaningful employment opportunities. Conventional talent search methods, reliant on keyword matching, often yield profiles lacking genuine job relevance. 

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However, using Microsoft AI, Gebeya’s contextual search engine transcends keyword limitations, comprehending job descriptions for a more precise talent-recruiter match. Generative AI then further augments this by offering recruiters insightful reasons for candidate suitability. This technological integration significantly boosts Gebeya’s success in connecting talents with recruiters, ultimately generating more job opportunities. At the same time, AI Companion tools are proving transformative, accelerating the transition of junior developers to intermediate levels and enhancing the efficiency of senior developers. 

Promoting Technopreneur Readiness 

Statistics show one out of every three software developers wants to become an entrepreneur. As part of the collaboration, Gebeya will identify talented software engineers who will be empowered to kick off their entrepreneurial journey through a combination of practical skills development, mindset cultivation, and exposure to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Commenting on the future of the initiative, Martin Ndlovu, Chief Growth Officer at Gebeya said, “This is a very ambitious project we are embarking on with Microsoft and will require the collective effort of the entire ecosystem. Gebeya has always been a partner-driven organisation and as always we will be looking for partners to help us deliver on this bold mission.

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