VIDEO: ALX welcomes 250 new students to hybrid learning

Lungile Msomi
By Lungile Msomi, ITWeb journalist
Johannesburg, 23 Oct 2023

Tech skills hubs are important because they foster skills development, innovation and job creation. They also promote networking, research and digital inclusion, positioning the country for success in the global tech landscape.

This is according to ALX GM Divesh Sooka, during the recent ‘Karibu’ (meaning ‘welcome’ in Swahili) event for the 250 new students that will join the hybrid learning programme in South Africa.

ALX, a technology training and skills development organisation, offers various tech subjects, such as Amazon Web Services cloud computing, data analytics, Salesforce administrator and software engineering.

Following the induction of its first cohort earlier this year, ALX says it is on track to reach its goal of enabling two million young African professionals to secure dignified and meaningful work opportunities by 2030.

In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and tech talent acquisition firm The Room, ALX has placed over 80 000 graduates in tech jobs since 2021.

Speaking to ITWeb, Sooka said the welcome event served as a reminder of the work the organisation is doing in bridging the skills gap in the tech industry for the youth of Africa.

“We are more than a training provider; we are a community that supports and accelerates one another, evidenced by the successes of our fellows."

Divesh Sooka, GM of ALX South Africa.
Divesh Sooka, GM of ALX South Africa.

Over the weekend, the new group of cohorts gathered at the tech hub in Braamfontein for activities such as ice-breakers with alumni, an ALX values experiential, a tour of the tech hub and testimonials from the first cohort.

The event also showcased the introduction of over 7 000 (including South African students) new cohorts in various African countries, such as Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya and Ghana. This marks the first time that all ALX-targeted countries are able to participate in hybrid learning programmes, it says.

Fred Swaniker, founder of ALX, emphasised the importance of having tech hubs around Africa, in order to maximise the growing African workforce.

“Africa's greatest resource is our youth. By 2030, Africa will have a larger workforce than China, and by 2050, it will have the largest workforce in the world. One billion people will need jobs in Africa. Our mission is to address this challenge."

Entrance into ALX does not require a university degree or matric qualification. Interested students need to apply and pass an aptitude test in order to be accepted into the ALX programme of their choosing, and be between the ages of 18-35.

Sooka said ALX reduced the required qualifications because the opportunity is meant for young people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have an interest in the tech industry.

“This programme is about potential, which includes qualities like courage, passion, resilience, imagination and values, as well as the power of community. The Karibu event celebrates past achievements and recognises the vast untapped potential among our fresh cohort."