Microsoft, Computers For Schools Kenya and iFixit have today kicked off the training of 20 youth artisans in device repair at the Pan African Christian University in Nairobi.
The training will give training on the repair and assembly of devices, which is managed by Computer for Schools in Kenya who will develop partnerships in order to provide similar trainings to hundreds of young people across the country.
“Working with the community, we realized that they did not have the know-how to repair the devices, and so we approached Microsoft. We want them to have the expertise to repair the devices when they break down. Also, the coming in of government laptops will bring in a big challenge of repair. We are happy that the iFixit team is also providing repair tools which are also not available to the community,” said Nicholus Nzou, Executive Director, Computers For School Kenya.
iFixit will be bringing in their skills and expertise as an industry leader when it comes to repair and assembly of smart devices. The firm regularly disassembles devices to develop repair toolkits, providing information on the manufacturing cost of the device, and how repairable and environmentally friendly devices are.
The objective of the initiative is to extend the life of devices through management of e-waste and also provide income to young people as part of Microsoft Youth Spark programme, whose aim is to provide skills and opportunities for youth.
Djam Bakhshandegi, Corporate Social Investment Manager for Sub Sahara Africa said: “We have seen lots of growth and demand of smart devices in Kenya including Windows Phone smartphones. Microsoft has identified the need to support our customers by ensuring that there is enough technical expertise, from device manufacturers and vendors to technicians on the ground. For a while, Kenyans have struggled to find reliable and trustworthy technicians.”
The training is expected to have a nationwide impact with 13 of the 20 artisans being drawn from outside Nairobi. The Repair Business Toolkit and Build Your Business Curriculum training that the technicians will receive will help them in building sustainable businesses and is also expected to lead to additional job opportunities in the counties.