As technology continues to shape the future of work, it has become increasingly crucial for the youth to acquire digital skills that will prepare them for the digital age. Recognizing this need, the County Government of Nairobi and Moringa School joined forces to provide free introductory digital skills training to Nairobi’s youths. The program’s primary objective was to stimulate an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), equip young people with essential digital skills, and pave the way for income-generating opportunities in the digital economy.
Moringa School took the lead in implementing the program and successfully completed the first phase, impacting 141 beneficiaries, comprising 95 male and 56 female participants. The training, which spanned 6 weeks from June 17 to July 22, 2023, was held once a week, every Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. The curriculum covered a wide range of topics to ensure comprehensive skill development. According to Moringa, the program, was Instructor led and as intensive as its regular software engineering program. The participants were introduced to computer programs, email etiquette, internet fundamentals, learning techniques, project ideation, presentation, and more.
The Nairobi County Digital Economy Skill Training program aimed to bridge the digital skills gap and provide equal opportunities to underserved communities. To be eligible, participants had to be between 18 and 35 years old, Nairobi County residents, high school graduates, and fluent in both written and spoken English. Basic computer skills and a passion for technology were prerequisites, while a minimum attendance rate of 95% ensured dedication to the program.
Moringa School’s CEO, Snehar Shah, expressed excitement about the partnership with the County Government of Nairobi. He stated, “Our mission at Moringa School is to empower people with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in this digital age. This partnership aligns perfectly with our vision, and we aspire to reach as many young people in Nairobi as possible, introducing them to the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution. Together, we are committed to positioning Nairobi as a thriving digital hub that can provide tech talent for global needs.”
While the first phase of the program focused on providing introductory digital skills training, it has laid the foundation for future phases to create income-generating opportunities for the trained participants. Though no specific collaborations with local companies or startups were established during the initial phase, the program’s organizers expressed optimism about potential collaborations in the future. Such partnerships could facilitate job placements or internships, further enhancing the impact of the training program.
As the program enters its second phase, the organizers are already planning to improve and refine the training. Based on lessons learned from the first phase, they are considering extending the program duration to allow for more in-depth learning opportunities. Additionally, there are discussions with grant-making institutions to offer scholarships to students interested in pursuing further education, specifically the Software Engineering track at Moringa School.
However, the organizers have clarified that there are currently no plans to expand the program beyond Nairobi County. The focus remains on empowering Nairobi’s youth and addressing the digital skills gap within the region.
One essential aspect of the program is its commitment to gender inclusivity. While the first phase saw 56 female participants, Moringa School has acknowledged that there is room for improvement. Over the years, the school has been working to bridge the gender divide in tech education, with the current female enrollment and graduation averaging about 40%. The program aims to encourage more young women to participate and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive tech workforce.
How to Apply for the Program
The second phase of the Nairobi County Digital Economy Skill Training Program is scheduled to continue later this year. Interested participants can apply online through the Moringa School website by filling out this expression of interest form. While the exact deadline for applications has not been set, aspiring participants are encouraged to stay updated with the school’s announcements to ensure they don’t miss the opportunity to join this transformative program.