Tech firms seek to certify coding experts trained in-house

Players say sector's growth is hampered by lack of skills at a time when demand is rising

Kenyan technology firms are seeking to certify coding experts who have attained training in-house in a bid to increase the pool of talent at a time when demand for coding skills keeps rising.

The firms said the delay by the government to issue certification is hurting the sector’s growth due to shortage of coding experts.

The industry players expressed these concerns during a meeting with schools last week.

Coding, a skill which can be taught from early childhood, is not currently examinable by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), and this has been attributed to the shortage of experts. And unless more coders are trained urgently, the shortage will be felt harder in

David Njengere, KNEC chief executive, said while the agency is mandated to exam all curriculums assessed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the execution depends largely on how the CBC system pans out.

The government, he added, is working to make digital literacy a subject that can be examined.
Entry of US tech titans led by Microsoft, Amazon and Google into the local market has exposed a talent shortage that has seen the multinationals hire on competency tests rather than qualifications.

In a bid to stem shortage of coders, Safaricom plans to partner with schools in training of developers.
“We are working with industry to see from the tech companies that we are talking to whether they can give certification of certain levels to those who graduate from high schools because the skills that are taught in coding are in high demand,” said Mugumo Munene, the chief executive officer of Kodris Africa.
“We are also delighted that KNEC is looking forward to assessing this material and establishing a system through which this can be examined.”

Companies such as Microsoft have been keen on training their own talent to fit global standards that is bound to boost local tech talent.

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