Microsoft and Gebeya join forces to bring 300,000 African software developers to the cloud using AI

by MMC
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Microsoft and Gebeya Inc., the leading pan-African SaaS technology talent marketplace, have partnered to launch a new skills and jobs matching platform called The collaboration aims to play an important role in closing the technology skills gap in Africa, fostering job creation and entrepreneurship, and empowering young people from the continent equipped with sought-after digital skills.

Through this partnership, Microsoft and Gebeya aim to upskill 300,000 developers in eight countries over the next three years, including Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Nigeria, Egypt and Mozambique. Applications will open in January 2024 to candidates with a background in technology development and IT and who demonstrate a keen interest in creating solutions in the cloud.

This latest initiative will build on the existing collaboration between Microsoft and Gebeya. In 2020, the two companies partnered to launch the first virtual SkillsLab in Ethiopia. The SkillsLab, launched to develop the digital skills and coding abilities of university graduates, has provided apprenticeship training to more than 1,200 African software engineers.

Over the past seven years, Gebeya has developed a proven track record of implementing upskilling and talent matching programs in Africa and now aims to increase its impact by partnering with Microsoft. “Our partnership with Microsoft represents a monumental step towards realizing the full potential of African talent. Through comprehensive upskilling and certification, we are creating job opportunities and technopreneurs (technology entrepreneurs) to pave the way for African youth to shape the future of the digital economy,” said Amadou Daffe, CEO of Gebeya.

Microsoft has been present in Africa for almost 30 years and has played a key role in helping to build the continent’s digital capacity through various training and employability programs, with over 4 million young people across the continent having improved their skills. skills over the past five years. “Young tech talent has never been more important to Africa,” commented Gerald Maithya, Managing Director of Microsoft’s Africa Transformation Office. “If we are to harness the continent’s full innovation potential, we must start by training the technology professionals who will create the digital solutions needed to make a positive impact on Africa and beyond. As a company built by developers and for developers, our goal at Microsoft is to provide the technology and expertise needed to develop the next generation of young African developers.

Through this new collaboration, Microsoft and Gebeya are united in their commitment to closing the technology skills gap in Africa and around the world, positioning the continent as a hub for technology talent. The main strengths of this partnership include:

Empowering African tech talent

Leveraging technical expertise and support from Microsoft to align with industry standards, Gebeya is developing curriculum and skills programs to train 300,000 developers to build solutions on Microsoft Cloud over three years , with an ambitious goal of 150,000 developers trained in the first year.

Developers who embark on this training journey will also be equipped with advanced skills in GitHub Copilot, allowing them to build apps and software with unprecedented speed and reduced errors. Microsoft’s Africa Transformation Office (ATO) will provide critical support for platform deployment and program development, offering Azure credits and marketing campaign assistance.

Matching skills to opportunities and fostering talent growth

The collaboration extends beyond skills development: will certify 100,000 developers according to the given program, with a merit-based recognition system in place. Through the platform, these trained Microsoft cloud developers will then be matched directly with companies looking for their specific talents and services.

Gebeya will also onboard Microsoft certified professionals into the dedicated Microsoft Talent Marketplace, leveraging robust selection processes to ensure talent quality. To accelerate the recruitment process, Gebeya will provide talent support with profile development, and will also extend its support to companies looking for Microsoft certified talents.

Create AI-powered job opportunities

With technical support from Microsoft, Gebeya is developing AI solutions on Azure, making it easier for young Africans to access meaningful job opportunities. Conventional talent search methods, which rely on keyword matching, often generate profiles with little job relevance.

However, powered by Microsoft AI, Gebeya’s contextual search engine transcends keyword limitations, understanding job descriptions for a more precise match between talent and recruiters. Generative AI then further augments this by providing recruiters with insightful reasons for candidate suitability. This technological integration significantly strengthens Gebeya’s success in connecting talent with recruiters, thereby generating more job opportunities. At the same time, AI Companion tools are proving transformative, accelerating the transition of junior developers to mid-levels and improving the efficiency of senior developers.

Promoting the preparation of technopreneurs

Statistics show that one in three software developers want to become an entrepreneur. As part of this collaboration, Gebeya will identify talented software engineers who will be empowered to launch their entrepreneurial journey through a combination of practical skills development, mindset cultivation and exposure to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Commenting on the future of the initiative, Martin Ndlovu, Chief Growth Officer at Gebeya, said: “This is a very ambitious project that we are embarking on with Microsoft and will require the collective effort of the entire ecosystem. Gebeya has always been a partner-driven organization and, as always, we will be looking for partners to help us achieve this bold mission.

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