The unemployment rate stands at 40% with the highest percentage among the youth between the ages of 18 and 34 according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. A report released by the Commission for Higher Education indicates that more than 50,000 students graduate annually from private and public universities in Kenya. It takes a university graduate five years to get a job in Kenya according to the British funded study on unemployment and higher education. Lack of the right skills of young graduates remains a major constraint for companies, leading to low job absorption.
In African IT space, women are twice less likely to have access to the opportunities available, the exclusion is much worse for new women graduates, and especially from the ones from underprivileged backgrounds.
The need of the hour is to train the youth for the jobs that Companies offer or on skills that allow them to bring out the entrepreneurs in them. The focus needs to be on innovation, entrepreneurship & high demand market skills such as Digital Marketing & Social Media which have become a critical tool for companies across multiple sectors in Africa. Local experts in this area remain few and in high demand.
Kuza Biashara in partnership with ITC (International Trade Centre), SITA (Supporting India Trade & Investment for Africa) & supported by DFID designed the program #SheGoesDigital to train young female university graduates from marginalized backgrounds in Kenya on high demand skills such as Social Media & Digital Marketing Skills. In addition, Kuza would secure industrial placement for the trained graduates.
Leveraging Kuza’s Digital Micro Learning Platform, the program was designed & implemented on the principles of blended & flipped learning. The technical training (Digital Marketing & Social Media) was complemented by live project experience, training in core & social skills. The young women had access to Mentors & Coaches, successfully interacted with Industry Leaders & Experts during the program. Around 80% of the program graduates were successfully placed in internship opportunities, while the rest pursued their entrepreneurial ventures.
The skills and experience they gained not only provided employment and income opportunities, but also unlocked opportunities for the young women to take a lead at contributing to the African economy.
I am excited about the many opportunities that this program has opened up to me. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and this program was very timely. I am actually harnessing the skills into a business that is in the pipeline. The business mentorship and coaching that we received alongside the digital classes, has been very helpful. I am more confident and unstoppable in pursuing my purpose from now henceforth.