NetHope Academy’s Intern Program is now expanding to Sub Saharan Africa thanks to a generous grant from the Accenture Foundation and continued support from Microsoft, Cisco and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. As part of NetHope’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action, this expansion is a very exciting next step for the NetHope Academy as we continue our work to scale the development of young IT professionals in developing nations.
Over the last few months we both had the incredible opportunity to travel to Africa in order to identify a few of the first organizations we’ll be working with to grow the NetHope Academy Intern Program. We looked specifically for organizations that share our vision for providing the important skills youth need to succeed in the IT field, and those that care deeply about helping historically underserved populations like young women and people living in rural areas. We also focused on establishing partnerships with organizations that have proven track records of success in workforce development, and those that embrace NetHope’s own strong values around transparency and accountability.
During our time in Africa, we met with an amazing number of potential partners that work in the field of workforce development and human capacity building. This is the story of one of the first organizations we’ll be partnering with and their dedication to educating women and bridging the IT human resources gap.
Established in 2001, the Kenya-based African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT) works to promote women’s access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool for social, economic and political advancement. They do this by building ICT skills within women’s organizations, advocating for ICT policies, laws and regulations that support women, creating networks for knowledge and information sharing, and connecting women to valuable resources and employment opportunities.
In 2007, ACWICT, in partnership with the International Youth Foundation and Microsoft Corporation, began implementation of an employability program aimed at improving the economic prospects of young disadvantaged women through ICT and life skills training courses. To date, over 3,000 women, the vast majority from the slums of Nairobi, have graduated from the program and 70 percent of graduates have achieved full-time employment.
IT skills in Kenya are in high demand, but these opportunities are only open to people able to acquire the relevant skills and work experience. In partnership with ACWICT we’ll be launching the first NetHope Academy Intern Program in Kenya in April 2012, providing ninety (90) college educated, unemployed women with advanced ICT training and access to a full range of local internship and job placement opportunities.
We very much look forward to working with ACWICT and our first intern group in Kenya.
— Fredrik Winsnes (NetHope Global Program Director) & Lisa Obradovich (Accenture Development Partners)