SUCCESS STORY: TECH UPSKILL PROGRAM CONDUCTED BY AIPI
14 Aug, 2023
AIPI (Access International Partnership in IT), a partnership project between Rwanda ICT Chamber and BITMi (Bundesverband IT-Mittelstand e.V.) started this Tech UpSkill project in collaboration with the consortium made of 250 Startups, kLab, and FabLab. This visionary collaboration aimed to bridge the skills gap and empower young tech enthusiasts across the country.
The program’s primary focus is to identify and support tech talents and innovators across Rwanda, offering them capacity building and exposure opportunities. Over the course of its implementation, the program brings together a diverse group of talents, developers, and aspiring professionals, resulting in remarkable outcomes for both the participants and the technology industry.
The Tech UpSkill program embarked on its journey with two distinctive cohorts. The first cohort sought to discover tech talents across Rwanda, providing them with capacity-building programs and exposure to industry best practices. The objective was to help these talented individuals secure meaningful employment. The second cohort aimed to empower and upskill young Rwandans, equipping them with the essential skills required to thrive in the dynamic technology landscape.
Over a span of four months, participants from all corners of the nation converged at kLab and FabLab, where they embarked on a transformative learning experience. This phase aimed to upskill and equip the youth with practical expertise. Consortium partners, including 250STARTUPS, FabLab, and kLab, which were chosen to implement the program, played a pivotal role in directing and implementing the program. Their expertise and guidance were instrumental in shaping the talents’ projects and enhancing their skills, making them more competitive in the job market.
The ongoing 3rd cohort of the tech upskilling preparation program continues its mission to identify innovative technical talents who possess exceptional skills in both hardware and software development. This particular cohort places its focus on engaging with fresh graduates from colleges and universities across the country. This program will enable talents to make a significant impact in the future and in the world of technology.
A highlight of the Tech UpSkill initiative was the Tech UpSkill Hackathon, a platform that showcased the talents of young Rwandans while providing them with a chance to learn from experienced professionals in the technology sector.
This hackathon not only exposed participants to real-world challenges but also offered opportunities of engaging in interesting courses, comprehensive training sessions, and invaluable coaching. This experience enabled them to refine their projects and elevate their skill sets. The success of the hackathon underscored the program’s impact in raising innovation and skill development.
The Tech UpSkill program earned recognition from influential figures, including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, where he appreciated the program’s vision and complimented the initiative for its consistent efforts in creating opportunities for the youth, he also emphasized the importance of going through these kind of skills development program and how it prepares their journey of entering in the tech industry and the job market.
From the perspective of program beneficiaries who went through training programs in kLab and FabLab, both participants and employers, via the conversations with AIPI Project they revealed its transformative effects. Employers who recruited Tech UpSkill talents noted the talents’ passion, adaptability, and eagerness to learn, particularly in technical skills. The participants, in turn, expressed their gratitude for the practical skills gained through the program, such as database management and app development, etc..
Despite the initiative’s positive impact and its achievements form both organizers and beneficiaries, challenges were not absent from this journey. The constraint of time and the problem of language barriers were identified as areas for improvement. The program’s organizers are looking ahead to addressing these issues by extending program duration and incorporating language components into the training curriculum.
The Tech UpSkill program stands as a success in empowering Rwanda’s tech talents. Through training, exposure, and innovative platforms like the Tech UpSkill Hackathon, the initiative is continuously bridging the gap between aspiring tech professionals and industry demands. As the initiative evolves, its organizers remain committed to refining the program to further enhance its impact. The Tech UpSkill program can lead to meaningful and sustainable skill development.
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