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Veteran IT solutions provider IE Network Solutions is tackling the challenge of Ethiopia’s tech talent gap with the launch of its Tech Talent Academy. Introduced on March 9, 2024, the academy held a soft opening and welcoming session for its first cohort.

Fully funded by IE Network Solutions, the program aims to train 2,000 individuals over the next three years.

Ethiopia’s education system produces an average of 150,000 graduates annually. However, according to the IT firm, there is a significant skills gap that hinders their job readiness in the tech sector.

“We saw a responsibility to contribute and bridge this skills gap,” states Ermias Endalamaw, Chief of Staff at IE Networks.

The academy offers two programs: the Tech Talent Academy and the Graduate Trainee Program (GTP). Both aim to equip trainees with industry-specific skills and create a continuous pipeline of qualified tech professionals.

The curriculum, which has been designed by the IE Network internal team, incorporates theoretical frameworks, practical sessions, project attachments, and even online paid courses. Trainees are expected to dedicate at least 12 hours per day to their studies.

The academy has been in the making for the last year and leverages both virtual and physical learning spaces pushing trainees individually and collectively.

The program focuses on in-demand skills, with courses in Full Stack Software Development, Testing, ERP Techno-functional Expertise, Enterprise Networking, Cybersecurity, Systems and Cloud Engineering, Data Center Facility Management, Project Management, Data Analytics, and Salesforce Business Management.

According to Ermias, The Tech Talent Academy anticipates a dual impact: social, by empowering individuals, and economic, by bolstering the tech workforce.

In its initial phase, the academy has enrolled 41 students from Addis Ababa University, and Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. Around 200 students registered initially, with psychometric and aptitude tests helping identify the most qualified candidates who made the first cohort.

“As we launch the pilot program for both the Tech Talent Academy and the Graduate Trainee Program, ensuring the curriculum’s comprehensive functionality and overall success is crucial before wider implementation,” explains Ermias.

Founded by Meried Bekele in 2008, the company offers services such as business automation and intelligence, data center and cloud services, smart infrastructure, as well as network and cybersecurity solutions.

Initiatives like IE Network Solutions’ Academy are proliferating in Ethiopia. Dereja Academy, a social and business unit of Ethio Jobs, also offers a 3-month program for graduate students.

Other prominent names in the tech talent space are ALX Ethiopia and Gebeya, who recently partnered with Microsoft to empower 300,000 African tech talents over the next 3 years with Microsoft-focused cloud and AI skills.

Meanwhile, ALX, a division of African Leadership International (ALI), provides a career-focused approach to learning and aims to develop tech professionals who can thrive in the most in-demand, high-growth industries.

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author

Etenat holds a degree in Journalism and a a master's in Public Relations. Previously, she served as a university lecturer and has five years of experience in communications, media, digital marketing, and consulting.