Nexford University – the Washington DC-based, next-generation university platform offering affordable, US-accredited degrees worldwide has signed a partnership with Africa Digital Media Institute (“ADMI”) – a training platform for Africa’s creatives, and the Federation of Kenya Employers (“FKE”) – the employers’ membership body in Kenya to address graduate recruitment challenges .
The partnership follows Nexford’s expansion into East Africa – furthering the growth of its learner base across the continent, including Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa. Since inception in 2019 – Nexford learners worldwide have completed over 33,000 skills-focused courses, preparing them for the 21st-century workplace.
Fadl Al Tarzi, founder and CEO of Nexford University, commented: “We are excited to be partnering with FKE and ADMI to conduct crucial research into the Kenyan employment landscape. As the Kenyan economy continues to grow and undergo digital transformation, Nexford is well-placed to address local and global talent shortages. We look forward to collaborating to upskill Kenyan youth – enabling their job readiness in Kenya and setting them up for future careers.
“The partnership and survey will allow us to further tailor our educational offerings to the skills gaps faced by employers, delivered in an affordable, high-quality, manner accessible for 21st Century learners. Learners will graduate with in-demand skills creating opportunities to improve social mobility and access higher-paying careers. Kenyan employers will also benefit from an improved pool of talent offering the skills needed to grow their businesses, an asset to the entire country’s economy,” he added.
The first phase of the partnership will see FKE carry out a nationwide survey on recruitment needs, and skill gaps faced between employers and employees in Kenya. The research was co-designed by FKE, ADMI, and Nexford University and commenced in March 2023 covering 270 of Kenya’s largest employers. The research will identify skills in highest demand, skills shortages, and analyze how the needs of employers are evolving based on evolving market conditions include digital transformation and artificial intelligence.
Following the research phase, the findings will then be analyzed to inform Nexford University and ADMI’s developing curriculum for East African learners. Nexford already has significant experience with this approach, as its AI-driven curricula is developed through analysis of millions job openings, with courses designed to provide the skills most demanded by employers.
The final phase of the partnership will see the development of Nexford ‘pathway programs’ and upskilling courses, in partnership with Kenyan organizations and catered to their specific needs. These programs will deliver job ready talent, as well as provide existing employees with specific paths to upskill themselves and deliver greater value to the organizations they work for. Nexford will also cooperate with FKE to launch resources for employers to enhance the hiring process and improve retention of employees.
Jacqueline Mugo, EBS Executive Director & CEO of the Federation of Kenya Employers, commented: “As the Federation of Kenya Employers, we accept this extended hand of partnership, and we believe that this collaboration will make enormous contribution in skills development for the world of work in our Country and beyond. As an employers’ Federation, we understand that the world of work is being impacted by a fourth industrial revolution and transformed by artificial intelligence & other emerging technologies. This will result in the displacement of a large number of workers and hence to forestall this, there is need for workforce upskilling and reskilling.
We therefore view this partnership as a big window and an opportunity to help in closing the existing gap between the skills supply and skills demanded in the job market. We believe that this partnership will help in identifying gaps and consequently building talent among students and workers thus making it easy for learners to link up with appropriate jobs and at the same time help employers to get access to the skills they need within their organizations. This will enhance staff retention and enterprises productivity”.
Aggrey Oriwo, CEO of the Africa Digital Media Institute, said: “The development of market-ready skills will contribute to economic growth by enhancing employability and labor productivity, helping Africa’s youth to become more competitive. To achieve this we have to look at what is the current situation and as a training ground bridge the gap between the labor demand and supply sides to find the right mix for success. At ADMI we support employers around Africa by designing and implementing programs and curriculums aimed at addressing the most fundamental challenges of skills development.”
Nexford’s graduates, educated with in-demand skills highlighted by the FKE survey, will be well-positioned to take advantage of employment opportunities in Kenya’s rapidly growing tech sector. Kenya is increasingly attracting leading international technology companies looking to expand their presence on the continent – opening up further opportunities for the country’s tech talent. Google is investing in its first-ever African product development hub in Nairobi as part of a KES 115.5 billion investment in the region, and Microsoft has announced the opening of two new offices for the African Development Center (ADC) in Kenya and Nigeria, reinforcing its commitment to developing tech talent in Africa.
Nexford’s tech-enabled business model delivers education efficiently without compromising on quality. The average annual tuition for a Master’s degree from Nexford costs $2,800 – a fraction of the US national average of $36,000. Nexford received its full, US accreditation for its courses by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission in early 2023.