In the last couple of years, Africa has experienced real progress in technology. There is a drastic change in the way we work and learn as Information and Communication Technologies consistently offer better opportunities for improving basic education in Africa. Even now, Africans have become hungry for the same technological and educational opportunities seen elsewhere in the world, and experiencing these opportunities has been extraordinary.
Africa has welcomed global heads of some of the most prominent technology companies in the world. Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, have all visited the continent to determine the future of their respective businesses, and how they might best impact or capitalize on the continent’s burgeoning interest in digital technology and educational opportunities.
The outcome of many of these companies’ relationships with Africa however, has been rather unfortunate, as we bid farewell to a large number of Africa’s most promising and exposed engineers, coders, technicians and developers who are offered positions outside of the continent, leaving Africa at a distinct disadvantage with a large population of bright and eager young people who simply lack the infrastructure or access to technology to otherwise gain a competitive edge in the future.
This is why the VMware ‘Virtualize Africa’ programme is all the more commendable.
Championed by the Global Program Manager of the VMware IT Academy Team – Jackie Barker-Weeks, and supported by the Global Director of Worldwide Readiness, Assessment, Certification & Enablement (WWRACE) – Thomas MacKay, along with the Senior Manager of the VMware IT Academy – Vincent Herreman, the VMware IT Academy and its ‘Virtualize Africa’ programme specifically designed for preparing Africans to lead in the digital future, is truly one of a kind.
VMware is empowering a growing young African population to confidently enter the digital workforce by creating a training programme that takes the student from the very basics of cloud computing to becoming a VMware Certified Professional, a globally recognized certification. Achieving this skill and professionalism requires working with the grassroots and organizations that facilitate learning amongst the youth. This is where the African Union Commission comes in.
The African Union’s science and technology division, under the able stewardship of Her Excellency, Prof. Sarah Agbor, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, has committed itself to quality and relevant education that is responsive to the needs of Africa, by formulating, harmonizing, coordinating and implementing enabling policies on the continent to leveraging technology to accelerate Africa’s transition to an innovative-led, knowledge-based economy. Setting laudable goals, the Commission has embarked on the “1 Million by 2021” initiative, a drive that seeks to provide opportunities in concrete areas of Employment, Entrepreneurship, Education and Engagement (The 4Es) for a million African Youth by the year 2021.
Therefore, this meeting of like minds that involves the MOU signing, means that VMware will work with the African Union’s considerable authority in convening the educational and technology ministries of their 55 member states to cascade cutting edge ICT education down to the youth population. This helps to create a workforce that can compete globally and gain the knowledge, tools and ability to create local solutions using innovative technology.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, along with Maurizio Carli, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Services. Her Excellency, Prof. Agbor signed on behalf of the African Union.
In her speech following the signing, Professor Agbor expounded on the importance of this merger to the future of work on the continent as VMware’s expertise blends seamlessly with the African youth’s inquisitive mind and desire to do more and be more.
Initiatives such as these will undoubtedly create the long-lasting solutions Africa needs to grow, thrive and excel in the coming years, and I, for one, welcome them.
CEO, VN Sync