Digital Skills Accelerator Africa (DSAA)
African countries are increasingly offering attractive business prospects: a young population with a great affinity for digital applications, a growing workforce and increasing availability of skilled labour, new markets and a better integration into global value chains. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and digital service provision in particular offer huge growth potential.
IT companies that want to operate in these countries often face a variety of challenges. This is where Digital Skills Accelerator Africa e.V. (DSAA) can help by actively supporting companies engaging in Africa. It can help with training programmes for professionals in the IT sector and digital services or can promote networking between companies with a view to implementing (business) activities together.
Invest for Jobs supports DSAA, a registered association of companies in the digital services sector. The member companies have the common goal of inspiring, training and employing talented people in Africa for and in the IT sector. While doing so DSAA attaches great importance to promoting diversity in its member companies, for example by supporting women and fostering inclusion of people with disabilities.
The approach pursued by DSAA contributes to the future development of the digital sector in the pilot countries in Africa – Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda and Senegal. From their locations DSAA companies offer digital services for local and European clients in areas such as telecommunications, automotive, banking and insurance. The association is open to new members and plans to extend its activities to other countries too.
DSAA aims to create business and employment opportunities in Africa. To do so, it promotes cooperation and networking between European companies and African IT firms. In addition, DSAA enables young people to take part in IT courses and further training programmes. Young people thus acquire not only the necessary IT expertise but also language and management skills to subsequently work for international clients in the IT service sector and customer experience management. DSAA’s member companies identify the expertise that their potential employees currently lack.
One of the aspects DSAA focuses on is the economic empowerment of women. The member companies offer career advice and hold motivational talks, for example. Another goal involves including people with disabilities and ensuring that they have equal access to the labour market. DSAA member companies receive advisory services on barrier-free recruitment processes and infrastructure, to enable them, for example, to design training rooms and computer programmes that are accessible to all.
In the next few years, DSAA aims to achieve the following:
Against the backdrop of the current corona pandemic, Invest for Jobs and DSAA are supporting companies in securing jobs and protecting employee health in the partner countries. Through online seminars, digital learning platforms, hygiene measures, mobile working concepts and employee shuttle services, DSAA member companies have been able to keep their businesses up and running even during the pandemic.
DSAA’s current and future projects are geared towards making lasting improvements in the situation for talented young IT specialists and in labour market access for disadvantaged people. For instance, DSAA member companies have recently launched programmes in Ghana and Rwanda.
In December 2019, the AmaliTech Training Academy was founded with support of the DSAA in Ghana. Within six months, 40 young people were trained and almost all of them subsequently obtained a permanent employment contract. Just one year later, AmaliTech doubled up their number of trainees.
getINNOtized, also in Ghana, aims to train a total of 200 people in cloud computing. The company offers an optional pre-qualification programme for people with disabilities. The first young graduates completed their training in mid-February 2021 and will soon provide IT services for clients from Ghana and Europe.
A similar programme has been launched by Zatec in Rwanda: over a period of three months, young people are trained in web-based software development. After the course, the best trainees are offered a paid internship at the company or the company’s customers. There they can continue to develop their IT skills and are being prepared to enter the international job market for software developers.
DSAA is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the context of Invest for Jobs on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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Salifu Zeba: New hope for young IT talent from Ghana
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