Integrated communications firm Safaricom renewed its partnership with Moi University, as part of its support towards the development of qualified telecommunications professionals in Kenya. The collaboration, which has been on for the last five years, is aimed at growing a pool of ready-to-work telecommunications engineers and other professionals for the Kenyan market and beyond.
Safaricom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Moi University in 2006 as part of a proactive approach to developing relevant work-place skills by partnering with institutions of higher learning.
“We are happy to contribute to the education and training of competent telecommunications engineers for the local and international markets. We believe that the future of our industry depends, to a large extent, on the quality of the people we employ,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore during the signing ceremony held at the Michael Joseph Centre, Safaricom House.
He lauded Moi University’s commitment to producing competent engineers and pledged Safaricom’s support for the partnership, saying it would promote a culture of innovation.
“For us at Safaricom, universities are a rich source of young innovative minds that will one day yield game-changing technological breakthroughs. We are increasingly looking for highly skilled graduates who can make a real difference in our company,” added Mr Collymore.
Prof Richard Mibey, who signed on behalf of Moi University, thanked Safaricom for its support, especially in the development, five years ago of a curriculum for the Bachelor of Telecommunication Engineering course at Moi University. The first beneficiaries of the course graduated last year.
The partnership with Safaricom, he added, was an excellent example of how the corporate sector can enrich and contribute positively to human resource training and development in the country.
Under the MoU, Safaricom provides industrial attachment to 6 undergraduates taking the Bachelor of Telecommunications Engineering course at the university every year; sponsors curriculum reviews; rewards the best telecoms engineering student each year; donates equipment to the university on a regular basis e.g. computers and sponsors and participates in several activities at the college including the Engineering Students Expo, Career Days and telecommunications workshops and conferences.
Among past successes of the MoU are the donation of a microwave radio link equipment worth $30,000 (about Sh2.5 million) to Moi University for teaching and research purposes. Safaricom has also donated 20 used computers to the university’s computer laboratory. The winner of the Safaricom Best Telecoms Student Award 2011, Kennedy Winga, is already a Safaricom employee.
As the local telecoms industry grows and demand for specialized skills increases, such partnerships will be a key ingredient in producing a cadre of qualified workers. Local universities, which provide about 5,000 ICT graduates annually, face a lot of challenges in putting together the infrastructure needed to achieve this.
Source: CSR Africa.Net – 1 Feb 2012