ALX, Africa’s leading tech training provider, is set to empower over two million youths across the continent with technology skills that will prepare them for the dynamic world of work and equip them to provide innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges. This was made known as ALX Nigeria hosted over 400 new learners at the Karibu ‘Welcome’ Ceremony held on Saturday, October 21st at The Vantage Point Event Centre, Ogba, Lagos. The event was held to officially welcome and onboard new learners and aspiring techies aged 18-34 across Nigeria and Africa to the ALX community.
In his welcome address, Founder and CEO of ALX, Fred Swaniker, congratulated the new learners. He pointed out that Africa still falls behind in efforts towards preparing youth for the skills of the future. He expressed concerns: “While China boasts 7 million professional software engineers, the US has over 4 million and India has over 2 million, Africa has less than 700,000.” He noted that the world is fast-paced and dynamic and that Africa’s educational system no longer prepares youths for the future of work. He implored new learners to leverage the opportunity provided by ALX to better their lives.
The Karibu event is the second of its kind after the inaugural launch held in May with over 5,000 learners successfully onboarded to the ALX tech community. The ceremony brought together various stakeholders and innovators in the technology sector, including investors, technopreneurs, business executives, technology journalists and influencers, ALX fellows along current and new ALX learners. Prominent attendees included the Head of Partnerships for Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Sherifah Balogun; Principal of Wellspring College, Innocent Agofure; Human Resource Director for FSDH, Omotoso Oluwasegun; and representatives from the Mastercard Foundation and the African Leadership University.
The General Manager of ALX Nigeria and moderator of the event, Ruby Igwe, called on the new learners to show commitment and passion to their programmes and adopt a positive attitude to complete their training with ALX. She highlighted the numerous possibilities that lie ahead for them as they listened to the testimonies of current learners and ALX graduates and fellows. Igwe emphasised that ALX programmes are aimed at transforming young learners into visionary tech leaders and employable graduates. Some of the programmes offered at ALX include Data Analysis, Cloud Computing, Software Engineering and Salesforce Administration.
During the panel discussion, ALX fellows discussed the numerous benefits new learners stand to gain from their programmes. They called attention to the cutting-edge skills and opportunities created by ALX “The impact of ALX on my life and career goals has been overwhelming. The job-ready tech skills I acquired were handy and helped me land a dream job at a major fintech company,” said Daniel Ugama, a successful graduate of ALX Cloud Computing graduate “As you embark on your tech journey with ALX, be assured you are learning from the very best. The platforms are very engaging, innovative, and user-friendly. I have no doubt you will have a great experience,” he added. He urged new learners to take their programme very seriously and avoid practices that may lead to their dropout.
Chisom Ukachukwu, an ALX Salesforce Administrator graduate, underscored ALX’s high success rate due to its emphasis on shared literacy and community engagement. “Without community, I wouldn’t have come this far in the programme. At ALX, you are not left alone. There is a deliberate attempt to create a peer review system and a community drive that motivates you to be the best,” she said. She expressed gratitude to ALX Nigeria for giving her a chance to participate in the Salesforce programme and for igniting her interest in becoming a tech entrepreneur.
Speaking during the expert panel session, the Chief Executive Officer of Digivate 360, Olusegun Oyetunji, lauded the enthusiasm and growing interest in technology among young people in Africa. “In the last two decades, we have taken bold strides in creating new technologies. We are pioneering home-grown solutions in electronic technology, hydro technology, and many other areas. It is noteworthy that a technopreneur in Africa can secure up to 40 million USD in funding to power small households across Africa. It is a testament to our potential and growth,” he said. He explained that as Africa scales up efforts in innovation and creativity, it must focus on creating solutions rather than dwelling on problems. ”To achieve this, we must understand that community engagement is crucial to driving innovation. We must eliminate individualism and collaborate to attract opportunities,” he urged.
A unique feature of the hybrid event was the Global Sync, during which the new learners could connect with other ALX learners throughout Africa via a live-streamed video call. ALX has tech hubs in Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, and South Africa. Also present was a community of learners and fellows from across 28 states in Nigeria who joined virtually to the delight of the onsite participants.
For over 4 years, ALX has been working across Africa to provide youths with in-demand skills to bridge the knowledge gap. In addition to its wide range of tech programmes, it holds impactful activation events throughout the year. Over 100 young women within the ALX Nigeria community were recently supported to attend the SHECODE Summit 2023 for in-depth tech-related sessions and networking opportunities. ALX employs innovative learning tools and transformative mentoring methods, creating a community of ethical digital leaders.