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Connected Summit 2024 Bolsters Upskilling Youth for Digital Jobs

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Kenya is making significant strides in preparing its youth for the future of work in the digital economy. Two key announcements at the Connected Africa Summit 2024 highlight this commitment.

Konza Technopolis and Acyberschool Partner on AI and Cybersecurity Training

The Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Acyberschool to train one million Kenyans in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity over the next five years.

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This initiative aims to create a talent pool for the growing digital job market across Africa.

“We are training Kenyans for the future of work,” said Evalyn Oloo, Cief Executive Officer (CEO) of Acyberschool and Chairperson of the Africa Cybersecurity and AI Foundation (ACAIF).

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The MoU will see both parties collaborate to secure resources needed for the program’s success.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Launches Free AI Skills Training in Kenya

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Adding to the skilling efforts, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the availability of its ‘AI Ready’ initiative in Kenya.

This program aims to equip two million Kenyans with free and essential AI skills by 2025.

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most transformative technology of our generation,” said Robin Njiru, Regional Lead, Public Sector-Sub-Saharan Africa of AWS. “We need to make AI education accessible to anyone with a desire to learn.”

The ‘AI Ready’ curriculum covers various AI aspects, including machine learning, deep learning, and computer vision.

Participants will have access to online courses, hands-on labs, and webinars.

“Equipping millions of Kenyans with AI skills will prepare individuals for the jobs of tomorrow and drive innovation and economic prosperity for the nation,” said Eng John Tanui, Principal Secretary, State Department for ICT & Digital Economy.

AWS also offers the free cloud skills training program AWS re/Start which has trained over 700 Kenyan youths since 2021.

AWS re/Start is a free, full-time, 12-week program designed to equip individuals with little to no technology experience for careers in cloud computing. It targets unemployed or underemployed individuals, including military veterans and their families, and young people.

“The program provides learners with the foundational knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed in entry-level cloud positions. Through real-world scenario-based exercises, labs, and coursework, participants develop expertise in Linux, Python, networking, security, and relational databases. AWS re/Start also offers job-specific training on building effective front-line support, troubleshooting, escalation, and task automation techniques. Additionally, the program equips learners with professional skills such as communication, collaboration, resume writing, and interview coaching to prepare them for the job market,” according to the firm’s website.

These initiatives by Konza Technopolis, Acyberschool, and AWS signal a collaborative push to equip Kenyan youth with the skills needed to thrive in the evolving digital landscape.

By providing accessible AI and tech training, Kenya is well-positioned to build a future workforce ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.

The future of AI globally is brimming with potential, as industry analysts predict a surge in growth over the next decade.

Market research suggests a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of up to 37.3%, translating to a potential market size exceeding $1.8 trillion by 2030. This marks a significant leap from the estimated $150 billion valuation in 2023.

Several factors are fueling this growth trajectory. Businesses across industries are increasingly recognizing the power of AI to automate tasks, streamline operations, and extract valuable insights from data. Additionally, advancements in AI technology are leading to more powerful models and algorithms capable of tackling complex tasks. Governments are also playing a role, implementing policies that support AI research and development, recognizing its potential as an economic driver.

In terms of curating AI policies, Kenya and Nigeria have shown strides with the launch of homegrown AI strategies.

The growth is expected to be particularly pronounced in healthcare, manufacturing, and retail sectors. AI is poised to revolutionize healthcare with applications in medical diagnosis, drug discovery, and personalized medicine.

In manufacturing, AI-powered robots and automation are likely to optimize production lines and enhance overall efficiency.

The retail sector is expected to leverage AI for personalized customer experiences, optimized product recommendations, and improved supply chain management.

While the future of AI appears promising, addressing ethical concerns around bias, privacy, and job displacement due to automation will be paramount. Ensuring explainability, transparency, and accessibility of resources for AI development will be crucial for fostering trust and responsible implementation of this transformative technology.

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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