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Africa’s software development skills remain in short supply

Kenyan tech parastatal, the ICT Authority, has signed an agreement with online e-learning platform Kodris Africa to introduce a coding and programming curriculum in selected schools in the East African country.

The curriculum will be followed in schools affiliated to the government’s Digital Literacy Programme, under which over 1.2 million laptops were distributed to 22,000 schools.

The ICT Authority said the deal forms part of a pilot program to test the success of the new curriculum which – according to Kodris Africa – has been developed with the help Microsoft Africa and Credit Bank.

“The announcement comes after the approval of the syllabus by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD),” said Kodris Africa. “It also comes after ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru unveiled the Kenya National Digital Masterplan which is a blueprint for leveraging and deepening the contribution of the ICT sector to accelerate socio-economy growth.”

Kodris Africa said that learning coding is a reliable way to grow digital literacy in the country and will help to address an acute shortage of quality software developers in Africa.

The issue has again surfaced after both Microsoft and Google opened development centres, which industry insiders believe will enrich the continent’s software development ecosystem.

According to Google’s Africa Development Ecosystem Report 2021, Africa has 716,000 developers, with more often being junior developers and there is a demand for senior experienced developers.

“Junior and emerging talent, as well as under-supported groups including women, need vocational training and affordable internet access to benefit from broader progress. Tech companies are making headway through local partnerships,” Google noted.

Kodris Africa plans to extend this curriculum to more public schools across the continent. 

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