appfactory, usiu, microsoftThe United States International University (USIU) in partnership with Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative on Wednesday launched Kenya’s first AppFactory.

The AppFactory will help equip students with skills in designing, developing, implementing and managing modern software solutions.

The main aim of the initiative, lunched at Incubation and Innovation Centre will be to increase employment chances of USIU students and unemployed graduates from other institutions of higher learning who take part.

”Despite hundreds of students graduating in ICT, IT companies are still finding it difficult to recruit graduates who are ready to contribute as software developers, without first taking them through extensive on-the-job training,” Vice Chancellor USIU, Professor Paul Zeleza said.

The VC also noted that by enhancing local employability and entrepreneurship, the AppFactory would ensure that local ICT firms will have most of their software solutions developed by Kenyans.

Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy, Lutz Ziob said that graduates from the AppFactory were highly sought after, adding that most of them find work before they graduate.

In 2017, it was noted, 85 per cent of the 500 graduates secured full-time jobs within three months of graduation, while others went on to start their own businesses.

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”As they become experienced software engineers – working with modern technologies from cloud computing to secure coding, bots and data analytics – start-ups and corporates are snatching them up,” Mr Ziob said.

The AppFactory targets final year ICT students at USIU and fresh graduates from other universities. Every six moths, 30 students will become software apprentices and receive training and mentorship by senior software craftsmen.

Microsoft launched the initiative in 2013, has AppFactories across the continent (Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda, Mauritius, Egypt) in a bid to unlock and accelerate Africa’s potential to create technology.

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