Professional Certifications: Africa’s Solution To Youth Unemployment

08th February 2021

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the continent of Africa, governments put in place lockdowns to combat the spread of the novel virus. This hard but necessary decision left many of the youth in Africa struggling economically due to pay cuts and layoffs.

Prior to COVID-19, African countries were already facing a challenge of the rapidly growing youth population – with 18 million jobs needed annually to accommodate for new entries in the labour market.

New challenges require new skills
According to the World Economic Forum, employers across the region already identified inadequately skilled workforces as a major constraint to their businesses – this is mainly due to the fact that many jobs are shifting to the adoption of digital technologies.

Currently the trending professions on the continent include the creative industries, food technologists, 3D designers, IT specialists, and software developers.This puts a strong emphasis on the need for new skills to match the present needs of the job market.

Professional certifications bridging the skills gap
At the height of the pandemic, there was an emerging trend of people taking certifications in order to keep busy and enhance their skills during the stay-at-home period. This was very common in the go-to social network for professionals, LinkedIn – with many sharing updates of their new professional achievements.

A recent study by
AXELOS, explains the spike of interest in professional certifications and its positive impact. Since these certifications focus on specific skills and respond to market demand, young people easily attain skills required by employers, transition to work more quickly, and develop additional skills over time. 

Opportunities for African Youth
Despite the existing challenges, there is a beacon of hope for Africa’s growing youth population: being a part of the fastest growing economies in the world. This has led big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Andela, to set up shop in the continent creating thousands of jobs and opportunities in the technology industry.

Governments across Africa are also betting on digital transformation to further grow their economies. Rwanda is building Africa’s very own Silicon Valley – Kigali Innovation City. 
The multi-billion dollar project has set itself the objectives of creating more than 50,000 jobs, generating $150 million in ICT exports per year and attracting more than $300 million in foreign direct investment.

These investments uniquely position the youths in Africa to find jobs given that they prepare for these incoming opportunities by acquiring the required skills through professional certifications. 

iSQI is making this possible for Africans through the Beaming Knowledge in Africa Initiative in partnership with the DEG, by helping aspiring IT specialists have access to globally recognisable professional certifications available in other developed countries of the world. 

About Beaming Knowledge in Africa:

Beaming Knowledge in Africa is a project of iSQI GmbH co-financed by DEG from the public funds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany, launched to create an opportunity for Africans to get the right professional certifications in order to compete globally. 

About iSQI:


For almost 15 years, iSQI has been playing a significant role in certifying the know-how of IT professionals in over 100 countries on 6 continents in 10 languages. Based in Germany, the UK, Netherlands and the US, with global offices and a network of accredited training providers, iSQI delivers more than 30,000 certifications per year paving the way for successful career development

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