New facility to test practical skills of ICT professionals in Africa

Data Infinity Chief Executive Tim Kitonyi, Deputy Director eLDi Vera Obonyo and ICT Authority Deputy Director Philip Irode. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Technology solutions firm Data Infinity has opened a modern practical assessment centre seeking to improve the quality of ICT workers in Africa.

The centre will offer human resource managers and chief technology officers a reliable way of evaluating job seekers’ practical knowledge and skills in various ICT domains such as coding, programming, system design and database management.

Data Infinity Chief Executive Tim Kitonyi said that the centre is a response to the major gap between the practical skills and theoretical knowledge of many ICT workers in the region.

He cited a study by his firm that found 60 per cent of new hires lacked the required practical skills and knowledge to perform their ICT tasks and assignments effectively.

Mr Kitonyi said this resulted in high training costs and delays in implementing critical IT solutions for many organisations.

He said Kenya has not been spared in this regard despite being a key source of ICT workers for other African countries due to its reputation as the “Silicon Savannah.”

“Kenya has a thriving tech ecosystem, digitally skilled talent, geographical positioning endowment, and ICT-centric public policies. These factors have elevated the country in the region, and as such attract regional and international attention, capital, networks and resources. However, one of the biggest challenges that many organisations face is the struggle to hire good IT people,” explained Mr Kitonyi.

He noted that there were less than 5,000 IT professionals in Africa, and that meeting the demand for 120,000 specialised IT professionals would require an investment of Sh48 billion by 2030. “This challenge stems from the fact that apart from the paper certificates, there are no practical platforms to establish the capabilities of new hires. That is why we have invested heavily in attaining the necessary training and certification requirements so that we can contribute effectively to the overall growth of home-grown IT talent,” said Mr Kitonyi.

He said Data Infinity has partnered with global technology leaders such as Oracle, Red Hat and Acronis to deliver cutting-edge enterprise ICT systems, focused training and cyber security solutions.

“We are confident that our new practical assessment centre will help bridge the gap between theory and practice in ICT hiring and ensure that our clients get the best talent for their needs,” he added. 

 

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