Along the Mbinza-Barre district of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, the UN Stabilisation Mission in Congo MUNUSCO has now set its eyes on providing a group of women with tech skills that would help them immerse comfortably in the job market.
According to the NGO, about 50 women aged 17 to 40 receive computer training topped with marketing, tailoring and English language skills.
The launch of the project comes at a time when mineral rich Congo still suffers from instability in form of poor governance, infrastructure and rampant unemployment, as reports indicate. Nevertheless, this project is part of a three month pilot program known as “quick impact project” worth $30,000 USD that trains female participants based on their motivation to learn, notes MONUSCO.
Once the women receive training, they seek jobs in the private sector. Although reports indicate that merely four women recently passed a hiring exam offered by a local recruiting firm at the program’s conclusion and eventually recruited to work at the Bank of Africa, few have been hired as sales representatives in private companies.
But despite few recruits by private companies, women claim that they benefit from the training. As a representative of one of the companies that partnered with MONUSCO, G.H. Investment , CEO Gilbert Yegani in an interview claimed to have encouraged the women to look into venturing into marketing and entrepreneurship by encouraging them to open small enterprises without necessarily waiting to be hired.
Some will find employment in existing companies, but my expectation is the one who learns how to make a dress using a sewing machine can become by themselves an owner of a small enterprise making fabrics as you are seeing,” he informed Voice of America, “Some will create a cyber cafe, a training center for her IT [information technology], that’s what we are expecting.”
Yegani noted the women require need equipment, such as computers and sewing machines, which the private sector will try to help them find funding for, or obtain loans from a micro-lender.
All in all, despite the challenges, MONUSCO is optimistic about the pilot program, and sustainable economic growth is expected arise from Congo’s private sector, not just from come international donors.