Empowering African Youths Through Information Technology Training

Information Technology Training: Empowering African Youth


Information technology training is mandatory for African youths to transform the continent. Although Africa’s youth represent the continent’s hope and future, the current training does not provide them with the required skills and tools to compete with the rest of the world.  This raises the important question of advancing information technology training to empower African youths to compete with their peers in different continents. Youths in other parts of the world are not the future or some future hope but are the present and are currently shaping their continent’s future through powerfully engineered tools.

The educational and industrial systems in these continents have long prioritized information technology training.  It is important that Africans leverage current developments in technology and science to measure up with their counterparts around the world by prioritizing information technology training. The increasing availability of information technology opens African youths to a vast array of opportunities through online training and skill building. The World Bank recognizes that “digital technologies are at the forefront of development and provide a unique opportunity for countries to accelerate economic growth and connect citizens to services and jobs.”

Skill gap and high unemployment

According to Saifaddin Galal, in “2023, the youth unemployment rate in Africa averaged around 12 percent. The situation was particularly critical in certain countries. In 2021, Djibouti recorded a youth unemployment rate of almost 80 percent, the highest rate on the continent. South Africa followed, with around 64 percent of the young labor force being unemployed.”

The African Development Bank adds that of “Africa’s nearly 420 million youth aged 15-35, one-third are unemployed and discouraged, another third are vulnerably employed, and only one in six is in wage employment. Youth face roughly double the unemployment rate of adults, with significant variation by country.”

Although these statistics are alarming, there is potential to reverse the economic situation on the continent. I find that the unemployment situation is directly correlated to the economic and financial situation of the continent. In addition to these, the skills, education, and competencies are not directly tailored to job creation and economic dynamism. The current opportunities in information technology training available online are a powerful resource African youths can capitalize on. 

However, the digital age is accompanied by the boom in information technology and the spread of the internet. These developments offer African youths the opportunity to beat unemployment through online training, certifications, and remote work.

Online training and certification

Most African states aligned their educational and training curriculum along the primary, secondary, and higher education patterns and tied it to colonial requirements as inherited from colonial masters. While these could serve the colonial masters’ interest during colonialism, most colonial masters readjusted their curricula to solve future problems. While Africa is still caught in the colonial-driven curriculum, the digital era gives Africans the opportunity to leverage industry and job-focused training online. As discussed below, building skills through information technology training and related disciplines can expand an individual’s career path, create wealth and interconnect people around Africa and the rest of the world.

Many leading information and technology companies provide online training and certifications to build the capacities of young people to serve different industries irrespective of their locations. Although some of these training and certifications are costly, some providers offer scholarships, others focus on Africa, and some people of goodwill train Africans free of charge. The most important requirement, however, is the will and desire to obtain new knowledge beating the customary barriers that prevent Africans from learning new skills.

It may be daunting to learn something new often coated with mathematical formulae and technical jargon. Mike Miller uses the example of breaking into Cybersecurity and advises that one must first choose a path since getting into cybersecurity (IT) is like deciding to play sports – one must first pick a sport. After picking a path, develop a skill set, take classes, and get certified, and you will stand out.

Sometimes, these steps and skills could be daunting but focusing on the goal is a required first step to achieve the goal. For example, in an interview with Chandra Sarjua, Veliswa Boya, a Senior Developer at Amazon Web Services (AWS), reveals that “when [she] began her career in the technology industry, she didn’t set out to change the world. Her motivation was always in the pursuit of bettering herself, progressing her career upward to secure more innovative work, and achieving better remunerations.”But today, LaDavia S. Drane says with much excitement how “Veliswa mentors young people who are looking to embark on AWS certification journeys, she shares her own experiences, and gives guidance and support.”

Unlike traditional educational schools where students must comply with the professor’s schedule, online learning gives learners the flexibility to self-paced courses where individuals can complete their studies at their convenience. Kara Coleman Fields uses the example of Coursera to show that “online learning platforms offer self-paced guided projects and on-demand courses on a variety of subjects.” Also, online learning platforms “partner with universities and companies, including Amazon Web Services, Google, and IBM, to provide courses. Users can earn digital certificates to share on their resumes or with their LinkedIn networks.”

Key areas for information technology training 

Benefits of empowering youth with I  in Africa

Information Technology Training (IT) and Software Development

As the world increasingly transforms into a digital economy, information technology training and software development are increasingly sought to meet the demand. Building information technology skills starts with learning programming languages such as SQL, Python, Java, or JavaScript, and gaining proficiency in web development, mobile app development, and software engineering.

Richael Bicknell shared an exciting resource on free training from free code camp. Most of these resources are free and available on youtube. Some other resources to learn software development include Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy amongst others. Google provides developers training and practices that “whether you’re new to programming or an experienced developer,” you can use the program to learn coding. Moreover, there are developer training scholarship opportunities.

Data Science and Analytics

In today’s world, businesses generate data ranging from personal data to business trends, climate change, sunshine, etc. Data is very useful in shaping future decisions. Businesses use “data analytics techniques to take raw data and uncover patterns to extract valuable insights. As a result, data analysis helps companies make informed decisions, create a more effective marketing strategy, improve customer experience, and streamline operations, among many other things.” Free Code Camp provides Data Analysis with Python. African youths can take advantage of these resources to study data science, learning statistical analysis, machine learning, and data visualization techniques. 

Digital Marketing and E-commerce

Africans have witnessed an exponential rise in social media marketing, influencers, and online presence. This presents a significant opportunity to take advantage of digital marketing and e-commerce training to reach customers. Google offers African youths an opportunity to train and get certified in digital marketing for free. This 40-hour course gives the learner an opportunity to explore interesting areas like search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content creation, and online advertising, data analysis amongst others.


As almost all businesses go digital, cybersecurity becomes a significant concern for businesses and users. Companies are increasing their need for cybersecurity professionals to protect their systems from cyberattacks. According to the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc, “despite adding more than 464,000 workers in the past year, the cybersecurity workforce gap has grown more than twice as much as the workforce.”

African youths can take advantage of this shortage and train in cybersecurity, learning about network security, ethical hacking, data protection, and incident response. By acquiring expertise in this field, they can help safeguard businesses and individuals from cyber threats, ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of digital systems and information.

Confidence Staveley, a Cybersecurity Leader in Africa recently “joined the “BreakingIntoCybersecurity” podcast family and will be anchoring the African series.” According to her, her contribution to the podcast will be “helping more people scale the barriers to entering this industry we love and need more people in, I’ll be sharing stories of those who have broken into the industry in the past 5 years, IN AFRICA. It’s my hope that this will inspire those looking to do it now.”

Cloud computing

Most businesses have moved their servers from physical servers located somewhere on their business premises to the cloud. The continuous generation of business data coupled with cyber threats and space management forced businesses to seek alternative ways of securing, saving, and using their data. In order words, companies sought to transfer these responsibilities to cloud service providers and obtained larger spaces but paid only for what they needed.

Like with any discipline in IT, experts in Cloud Computing can specialize in cloud engineering, cloud architecture, and cloud security analyst amongst others. Kris Fernando, a Board Member of Cloud Heroes Africa, says that “cloud computing is diverse in different fields from a technical perspective and also by industries.

The opportunities to work remotely for Africans in a central time zone to support Europe and North America are huge.” Cloud Heroes Africa (CHA), is a non-profit organization that encourages African youths to learn and break into the field of cloud computing with much ease. According to Kris, CHA guides “students through the main obstacles of learning technology. Phase 1 is proving you can do it. Getting your first Cloud Practitioner Certification gets you the foundations. Then, you participate in regular project-based learning assignments in our intermediate program. We are providing technical and soft skills training during our 3 times a-week sessions.”

African youths have the opportunity to leverage the CHA network not only to learn about cloud computing but also to obtain a free or subsidized voucher from cloud service providers through CHA. Kris emphasizes that CHA relies on a mentorship program where “senior tech professionals mentor and guide students free of charge to give back to our brothers and sisters. CHA is a community and a family.”

Remote Work

Remote work has been a game changer. African youths can exploit remote work to beat unemployment and work for employers abroad. This revolutionary approach to work, also known as telecommuting, allows individuals to work from their country but collaborate with coworkers abroad. However, only African youths who leverage the available information technology training platforms can benefit from these developments. 

The Benefits of Remote Work for African Youth

Remote work presents a multitude of advantages for African youth. First and foremost, it broadens access to job opportunities beyond local borders. This not only opens doors to higher-paying jobs but also exposes young Africans to diverse work cultures and global networks.

Flexibility is another key advantage of remote work. Young individuals can create their own schedules and work at their own pace, allowing them to balance other responsibilities such as caregiving or pursuing further education. This flexibility empowers them to take control of their lives and achieve a healthier work-life balance.


In conclusion, Africa’s youths can exploit online information technology training resources to empower themselves and overcome unemployment through IT and online training. While the current educational system does not fit in with the demands of the modern economy, the increasing availability of information technology and online resources can bridge the skills gap and expose African youths to foreign employers.

Online training and certifications can open African youths to become experts in information technology, software development, data science, digital marketing, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and remote work.

The benefits of online learning and remote work are vast. Learners can study at their own pace, access free or affordable training programs, and acquire in-demand skills that are highly sought after in today’s job market. Remote work enables them to collaborate with international companies, expanding their horizons and fostering cultural exchange. Although the transformation may be daunting, the results will be glorious.

In the next series of blog posts, I will interview experts in the different IT fields. They will share their advice and knowledge on specific areas of interest and how African youths can break into those fields.

In the comments section, kindly answer the following questions that will help me identify experts to talk to:

1. Are you interested in exploring IT and online training and certification?

2. What areas of IT or other specialties are of interest to you?

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