Kenya to introduce software development certification program

IT graduates from Kenyan institutions have a reason to expect better things ahead after the Carnegie Mellon University and Kenya ICT Board partnered to offer training in Software Development Certification (SDC) to boost practical skills.

The course, developed by Carnegie Mellon University and The Kenya ICT board, was branded Chipuka, a Swahili word denoting emerge. Plans are underway to ensure the pilot project in the country starts in April 2013.
SDC course will attract software developers, software engineering and computer science students from private and public institutions of higher learning with working knowledge of any common programming languages.
Kenya ICT Board CEO Paul Kukubo said that Software engineering is important in the nation’s economy and the boards looks to invest in the youth to make them ready for emerging opportunities.
“Kenya’s ambition with the Chipuka project is to ensure the country is the top software development centre in Africa and a major global software player by involving our latent intellectual capital,” Kukubo said.
Analysts expect the course to be the solution in sharpening necessary skills that will improve productivity and minimize costs while at the same time improving the country’s ICT sector.

According to Julisha report released recently, software and project management skills are in high demand but with the widest gap. It further revealed that approximately more than 9,600 professionals join the ICT market yearly, however a third of the company surveyed opt to contract external providers.
Exams have been set, they will be tested on 30 candidates as volunteers from Kenya Education Network (KENET) and Skunkworks. The outcome will be relevant to course developers in coming up with realistic exam.
University of Nairobi and Inoorero University have been selected to host the pilot exam. Other institutions will later be involved.
According to project scientist Philip Miller, the pilot exam will be ready by March 2013 and certification on October 2013 before it is later rolled out to the rest of the world.
Kenyan government is supporting the project courtesy of Kenya Transparency and Communication Infrastructure.

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