According to the United  Nations, Education and Cultural Organisation, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by one-third of youth between the ages of about 12 and 14.

Unemployment is also a major issue in Africa and one of the causes for this is the lack of skills development.

To help alleviate this problem, the African Leadership University (ALU) and GE Africa launched a 12-month professional training programme called the Africa Industrial Internet Programme (AIIP) during  October. The programme equips African professionals with business and technical skills that are essential for success in a digital industrial environment. This training programme will not only provide a high level of education for participants, but it will focus on much-needed digital skills.

Initiatives such as the AIIP will help in addressing the challenge of unemployment by providing African professionals with skills that will assist in making them employable in an incredibly digital world. The new generation of young professionals are expected to have a strong technical foundation in big-data analytics as well as experience in machine learning and web application development. These professionals should also be able to attain business results from technological improvements.

Roti Balogun, Director of Learning & Development, GE Africa said: “It’s an exciting period for us to take the lead in building digital industrial capabilities on the continent with this game-changing programme. Our focus on the key recommendations from the World Economic Forum on the Future of Work and this great partnership with the ALU will no doubt continue to strengthen education systems with closer ties to industry across Africa. We remain committed to developing the next generation of leaders in this transformative digital age.”

The AIIP will start in January 2018 and participants will be taught by industry practitioners who have years of experience in their fields. Participants will also have the opportunity to work with the best-in-class technology such as GE’s Industrial Internet programming language, Predix. The AIIP is a combination of online learning and three- to five-day contact sessions at the GE Innovation Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

ALU Founder and CEO, Fred Swaniker said: “We are delighted to partner with GE to offer a programme that holistically prepares current and future professionals to harness the full potential of technologies such as artificial intelligence in building their businesses, creating jobs and transforming lives. GE’s commitment to innovation and technology transfer in Africa resonates with ALU’s vision to harness technology and innovation to leapfrog Africa’s economic transformation.”

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