Graduates improve their earning potential with ITC digital skills training
Young Tanzanians can now take on freelance tech jobs, in a training programme that aims to reach thousands of people
The United Republic of Tanzania has a large young graduate population but a small formal job pool, leading to unemployment numbers that place considerable economic and social pressures on the country.
To help ease those pressures, ITC with Ennovate Ventures in Tanzania launched a “Digify Tech” program to upskill these graduates and improve their earning potential.
Under the FastTrackTech project, powered by Switch ON, ITC and Ennovate Hub in Tanzania in September 2022 concluded the fourth “Digify Tech” cohort, equipping 150 aspiring freelancers with the skills to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
The three months of training and coaching activities included digital marketing, content writing, Wordpress and UI/UX software development.
“There is a growing need for digital talent, so we train young freelancers and link them to jobs,” explained Ennovate founder Francis Omorojie, who has been running the programme in partnership with ITC for three years.
“We invited our alumni to speak at this last cohort, and we were glad to hear that they were monetizing their skills,” said Omorojie. “This is what drives me, being able to use digital skills to solve the unemployment challenges.”
Ennovate Ventures was founded to support emerging tech companies.
Siti Haider Twahir, who does data entry as a side job while finishing her medical degree, said the training gave her important UI/UX, product design and marketing knowledge.
“These skills are very important in a digitized world, including in hospitals. These are now extra skills that will be important for when I am a doctor, and I can use them to advance my career even further,” Haider said.
For Haider, the training opened the door to new possibilities.
“We met with small businesses, and they spoke about advancing their businesses online. It was helpful, I talked to them about how I could do this. Maybe I could start my own hospital service business, or a pharmaceutical business,” she added.
“Technology is becoming dominant, and if someone doesn’t know how to be part of the digital world, they will be left behind,” Haider concluded.
Taking training online
In the last two years, ITC and Ennovate have trained 1,250 entrepreneurs, and linked 370 of them to jobs. With the support of partners, Omorojie now wants to completely digitize the course content and scale up so that anyone outside Tanzania can also take part.
“Next year we are looking to train 5,000 young people,” said Omorojie. “In the next five years we want to reach 500,000.”
“It’s an ambitious goal, but if we train people, and they create startups and hire more people, we can see this program directly and indirectly creating half a million jobs,” Omorojie said.
The program targets 18-35 year-olds, and has been attracting mostly those between the ages of 22-27.
“There is a lot more demand for this kind of training than we had anticipated,” said Omorojie. “It shows more people are ready to develop these skills and build careers.” Omorojie now wants to raise awareness on the programs by working with two local universities.
Freelancer Hakim Abdallah said although he had already been working in graphic design, the training gave him the knowledge he needed to work more effectively for his clients.
“I was eager to learn it all,” said Abdallah, who works from home on his laptop. “The best thing about the training? That it was free, because most training here you need to pay, which puts it out of reach for many.”
“I learned a lot, mostly on which tools to use to best manage social media accounts, analytics, and running ads on different platforms,” he said.
The training has already paid off, with Abdallah using his acquired knowledge of social media marketing to advise a local food line on effective branding. “I got the business,” he said.
About the project
The International Trade Centre’s #FastTrackTech project is harnessing the transformative power of the digital economy to generate jobs and contribute to the economic growth and productivity. The project is powered by the Switch ON initiative. ITC’s recent initiative, Switch ON, focuses on digital connectivity, prioritizes investments in the sector and calls on policymakers to create the right conditions for small businesses in developing countries to profit from digital trade and entrepreneurship. It also focuses on delivering affordable networks and unlocking access through education and digital literacy.