The Cameroonian IT industry suffers from an acute shortage of skilled Software Developers, Social Media Marketers, Graphic Designers etc, despite the existence of IT schools (University of Buea, Catholic University Institute of Buea etc) tech Hubs and communities like the Silicon Mountain in Fako division, South West Region of Cameroon, Silicon River (soon to come in Yaounde), Ocean Innovation Centre in Kribi all creating enabling environments skill acquisition.
ActivSpaces believes Entrepreneurship without skills and support will not yield the desired results. Hence, it sees this skill problem as an opportunity for both entrepreneurs, unemployed youths,career changers and entrepreneurs to explore
That is why on Wednesday, 8th May 2019, its management introduced the long awaited ActivSpaces Academy to its immediate community members at the main office in Buea. Another introduction was done at the level of the Silicon Mountain community on May 16, 2019 during which founders and CEOs in the community gave their blessings and lauded the initiative. As explained by the Business Development Manager Laye Mbunkur, the Academy responds to several requests from community members and the public for a structured training on some of the most desired skills in real time.
This is coming at a time when many Cameroonians in the English speaking parts of Cameroon have lost their homes, freedom of movement and jobs to insecurity meanwhile, both the government and other organizations giving help to them. In essence, ActivSpaces is giving them (the organizations and government) the opportunity to help these young people acquire skills that will guarantee them employment for life.
Find out what this academy is all about, courses to be taught, how it plans to solve unemployment and close the gap between academia and the real job market from this interview between this writer and the Executive Director of ActivSpaces, Valery Colong.
Eduke Nadesh: Sir, can you tell us why your team decided to create the ActiSpaces Academy?
- There was an acute shortage in quality ICT skills in the Silicon Mountain community and Cameroon as a whole. Our 8 years of existence in the IT industry in Cameroon has proven the harvest is rich but the labourers are few. The majority we have do not possess the capacity to build and deliver international standard products. This has forced even the Cameroonian based companies to outsource jobs to IT professionals in other countries.
- Also, we see more opportunities in acquiring IT skills in the Cameroon we live in today. If we can train Cameroonian youths on some professional IT programs, the rate of unemployment will greatly be curbed. Moreover, with IT skills, a guy living in mile 16 or Muea in Buea doesn’t need to risk being shot by a stray bullet. He can stay in his/her room the whole day and make much money.The right time to start is now.
Eduke Nadesh So how does the Academy plan to reduce unemployment?
The Academy will be giving students “skills that guarantee employment”.
- The veterans we have chosen to teach these courses will ensure they are bridging the gap between theory and practicals. They have a great mastery of what they will be teaching because its a routine for them. The Academy is more of a Vocational training Centre. After studying for 9 months with us, a student studying mobile App development should have created an app ready for public consumption.
- Courses to be offered are those that are highly demanded in the market
- Software Development (Mobile App and Web Development)
- Digital Marketing
- Graphic Design
- Microsoft office professional
- Scrum/Agile Project Management
3. We are giving this opportunity to provide young people especially in the crises hit regions of the North West and South West Regions with opportunities of generating cash through freelancing or gaining employment while working from home.
Eduke Nadesh How can I describe this Academy?
It is an Academy from Africa’s oldest technology incubator to satisfy the shortage of ICT skills for Silicon Mountain and Cameroon at large. Whatever ActivSpaces is doing now is out of experience. We encourage all career beginners and changers to register for any of these courses and start building their skills.
Admission into the first 9 months session to start in July 2019is open. Interested persons should send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 237 678 949 241 for more information. Just 15 places per course will be taken during this first session. Visit us at the Top Left Floor, 1st Trust building, Great Soppo Buea, for any inquiries.