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GK Africa’s plan to boost SA development team

South Africa-focused retail solution provider GK Africa has partnered with local software development training academy WeThinkCode to reinforce its development team.

GK Africa is looking to establish a strong home-grown development team to support its solutions.

Johannesburg-based WeThinkCode was established in 2015 and offers training to would-be software developers. The company says in the context of South Africa’s current 63.5% youth unemployment rate and the local tech skills shortage, it serves as a bridge between talented young people and the economy.

Through this new partnership, GK plans to include select WeThinkCode graduates in an intensive training programme aimed at providing a solid foundation from which to grow within the GK development team.

The retail solution provider highlighted the relevance of its Cloud4retail solution to the market and the focus on Java development skills.

“We were very impressed with the level of skill and experience of the students; they have proven themselves very competent and able to join a global company, and transition into a very complex environment. We are confident that with our training programme, these students will be able to contribute in a productive manner to our GK solution offerings,” said Eileen Clauss, Senior Manager Professional Services EMEA – Development.

GK Africa MD, Jan-Michael van Detten, added, “Investment in the youth of South Africa is a smart move for GK: they come with incredible drive and skill sets. The partnership with WeThinkCode brings enormous value due to how they run their programme and training. These resources come with very solid Java development skills, which has made it very easy for us to make this decision.”

WeThinkCode CEO Nyari Samushonga.
WeThinkCode CEO Nyari Samushonga.

WeThinkCode CEO Nyari Samushonga, said, “I am truly excited by this partnership with GK software because it creates tangibly transformative long-term opportunities for our graduates. GK is a global leader in retail digital solutions, and with the digitisation of our world it means South Africa’s youth stand to benefit sustainably from GK’s decision to invest in WeThinkCode graduates.”

Power of coding

In April this year, Samushonga said while digital technology – and coding in particular – has the power to improve peoples’ lives, there is no contradiction in pointing out that training youth (and especially those from underserved communities), is not an enterprise that is ready to completely move across to remote learning platforms.

“With South Africa’s extreme inequality that condemns many of its citizens to precarious housing, unreliable electricity supply, prohibitively high costs of data and major learning gaps from the primary and secondary education systems, we need to take a pragmatic approach that begins at the station of our present constraints and gradually moves us to a utopian world of universal adoption of remote learning,” she said.

According to Samushonga, the march towards a digital utopia must make a critical stop at the station of inclusion and close structural gaps if it is to ever realise equitable transformation.

“In educating youth from underserved communities, that means providing safe spaces equipped with the necessary physical infrastructure and social support to enable them to unleash their full potential.”

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