Andela Announces $200M Investment Led by SoftBank

Andela, the global network for remote engineering talent, has announced $200 million in Series E financing. The financing round which was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 now values the company at $1.5 billion.

Other participating investors include WhaleRock and existing investors including Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Spark Capital. Lydia Jett, Founding Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers and one of the most respected consumer technology investors in the world, will join Andela’s Board of Directors.

Andela helps companies build remote engineering teams by providing them with access to the best software engineers in the world. Launched in Africa in 2014, the Andela network today represents engineers from more than 80 countries and six continents. Through Andela, thousands of engineers have been placed with leading technology companies including Github, Cloudflare and ViacomCBS. 

“Andela has always been the high-quality option for those building remote engineering teams. Now that the world has come to embrace remote work, Andela has become the obvious choice for companies because we can find better talent, faster,” said Jeremy Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Andela. “If you are a talented engineer, Andela opens up a world of possibilities for you, no matter where you are based.”

With a successful placement rate of 96%, Andela has mastered the ability to evaluate the technical skills and soft skills of engineers to match them to the teams they’ll be most successful in. With the new capital, the company will invest in developing products to simplify global hiring and make engineers’ lives easier. In addition, Andela will continue to expand its talent offering beyond software development to include new verticals such as design and data after launching Salesforce development earlier this year.

“Hiring remote technical talent is one of the top challenges that companies face today. We believe Andela will become the preferred talent partner for the world’s best companies as remote and hybrid work arrangements become the norm,” said Lydia Jett, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We are delighted to support Jeremy and the Andela team in their mission to connect these companies with brilliant engineers, and in the process, unlock human potential at scale.”

A fully remote organization with more than 300 employees around the world, Andela is hiring top talent across the board, particularly in product, engineering, and growth. 

andela.com

University of Rwanda and Mastercard Foundation launch $55 million partnership for African leaders

The Mastercard Foundation and University of Rwanda announced a 10-year, $55 million partnership to enable higher education access for 1,200 young Africans with a focus on women pursuing STEM, young people with disabilities, and refugee and displaced youth as part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Launched in 2012, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is committed to developing Africa’s next generation of transformative leaders by providing economically disadvantaged students with skills training, leadership development, counselling, mentoring, internships, and career services. The Scholars Program has committed nearly 40,000 scholarships to date.

Established in 2013, the University of Rwanda is the largest and most comprehensive higher education institution in Rwanda with a mission to produce transformative and highly enterprising leaders who contribute to building a more just and sustainable world.

“We are thrilled that the University of Rwanda has become a partner in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. “The mission and programs of the University are inextricably linked to the country’s national goals. That’s why this partnership is especially compelling as it will be preparing young people for careers across multiple disciplines and for real-life problem-solving,” she added.

The new partnership will build the University of Rwanda’s capacity to deliver inclusive, blended learning and contribute to a robust knowledge ecosystem that supports new and meaningful pathways to work for young people. It is aligned with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy to enable 30 million young Africans, particularly young African women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“The University of Rwanda believes strongly in the vision of the Mastercard Foundation,” said University of Rwanda Vice Chancellor Professor Alexandre Lyambabaje. “That is why we made the decision to partner with the Foundation to scale up our efforts in training transformative leaders and highly enterprising graduates and prepare them to make meaningful change on the African continent. This program aligns with the Rwanda National Transformation Strategy and its impact will resonate at the University of Rwanda, among our stakeholders, and through the larger East African Community.”

The University of Rwanda joins a global network of 29 Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Partners committed to ensuring that all young people, no matter their starting point in life, have an equal chance to obtain quality education and pursue their aspirations. 

www.mastercardfdn.org

University of Rwanda

Microsoft to partner with Kenya and African governments to transform education for Millions of students

Microsoft has committed to collaborate with the Ministry of Education in Kenya as well as governments across Africa to transform the education sector.

During an event in London by The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and hosted by hosted by the UK Government and President Kenyatta of Kenya, Microsoft acknowledged the importance of public and private partnership to enable educators and education leaders to best use technology to dramatically enhance learning and improve outcomes.

“Microsoft has formidable partnership with the Kenya’s Ministry of Education and all its stakeholders that spans over two decades,” said Angela Nganga Microsoft Education Industry Lead, MEA Emerging Markets. “We affirm our commitment to addressing the urgent challenges presented by the global pandemic but most importantly be a strategic and resourceful partner in designing scalable and sustainable solutions for the education sector.”

Since the onset of Covid, digital transformation of education to enable access to quality education has become more critical than ever. At the same time, education financing is at risk as countries have scrambled to rally public funds to support health systems and investments. To address this critical challenge, Microsoft is proud to be working together with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries.

GPE recently convened governments and the private sector at the highest level online and in London, to commit to education funding of $5 billion over the next 5 years, along with commitments from GPE partner countries on domestic financing for education.

The event attended online and in person by Heads of State from countries including Ghana, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, as well as several European nations, and parts of the private sector also included a round table focusing on the growing role business partners and philanthropy play in addressing challenges related to girls’ education and data.

Led by Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister and Helen Grant, UK’s Special Envoy for Girls’ Ed, this discussion included Microsoft’s Steve Beswick, Education Director for Europe, Middle East & Africa. Heads of State from several countries were in attendance for the meeting in addition to Kenya, including Ghana, Afghanistan, and Nigeria along with serval European leaders.

‘Microsoft is proud to be working with Global Partnership for Education for this new phase of education transformation. We are excited to engage in the Education Data Leadership program (EDLP), an important initiative to enable education systems to gather more accurate education data, analyze it and make use of it in effective decision-making. It will capitalize on the existing investment we are making in countries supported by GPE.” said Beswick.

“Microsoft is one of our highly valued allies in the drive to address partner countries’ needs for strong, clear and actionable education data. Colleagues from Microsoft contributed their expertise to the Education Data Solutions Roundtable, including in developing guidelines for strengthening education management information systems. Now this business partner is similarly providing in-kind its technical know-how to the new Education Data Leadership Program – which will boost the data skills/capabilities of education ministries. Those skills can be game-changing, and we’re delighted to have this strong working partnership with Microsoft to help advance education system transformation.” Noted Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of GPE.

The EDLP aims to support partner countries to strengthen data competency and enhance its education data management systems. Collaborating with business and country partners, the EDLP will provide the Data Boot Camp to the Ministry of Education data teams—professional development sessions that will elevate skills and produce data leaders. The Bootcamps aim to develop a generation of high-performing education data scientists in GPE partner countries. For the EDLP, the initial key countries identified are Kenya, Uganda, Tajikistan, Nepal, and DRC.

Through Microsoft Office 365 A1 for Education, offered for free to education systems, Microsoft is already supporting GPE beneficiary countries by providing Microsoft Office 365 A1 for Education at no cost to education systems, with an estimated value of several million dollars per year.  The EDLP will enable Ministries of Education to leverage data available to them in Office 365 to gain insight into teaching, learning and administration taking place in schools using the platform.

Microsoft will also bring together training and support based around Microsoft’s platform for digital skills training, Microsoft Learn as well as Open Edu Analytics a fully open-sourced data integration and analytics architecture and reference implementation for the education sector.

www.microsoft.com

Devotra offers Smart Classrooms for Technical Vocational Education and Training in Rwanda

The Smart Classroom Concept was originally designed in 2010 as part of the Kenya-The Netherlands TVET Project: “Rehabilitation and Upgrading of KTTC and 9 Regional Centers of Excellence (phase 1)”. In 2015 the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Directorate Technical Education) has reviewed the concept together with Devotra and the Smart Classroom was fully updated based on the latest concepts and technologies available.

The Smart Classroom will provide Rwandan TVET students with world-class learning facilities without any equivalents in the world. The Smart Classroom introduces a unique TVET teaching and learning concept, combining state-of-the-art technologies, software, simulations, experiments and hands-on practical education, making the 10 Centres of Excellence future proof for Rwandan students.

The Smart Classroom acts as an incubator area for ideas based on industry and labour market requirements. It will change students and teachers mind-sets and will bring innovation, spur creative and catalytic thinking, triggers students’ exploration skills, enhance problem solving based learning, and provide the opportunity to teach and learn design, programming and production skills.

The Smart Classroom improves the traditional TVET teaching at the 10 Technical Training Institutes that are working with it now, through further introduction of student-centred learning, interdisciplinary work, Competence Based Education and Training (CBET).

www.smartclassroom.nl

Rwanda Ministry of Education signs an MOU with Nanyang Technological University of Singapore

The Minister of Education Dr Valentine UWAMARIYA attended a Virtual signing ceremony of the MoU between the Government of Rwanda and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore on academic exchange.

The Minister of Education Dr Valentine Uwamariya signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of Rwanda while as Professor Ling San signed on behalf of the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, Republic of Singapore.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed provides a framework to promote cooperation between the Government of Rwanda and NTU in the field of Training, Education, Scientific Research and Technology between both parties.

In her remarks, the Minister of Education reminded that the discussions on the possibility of a partnership originates in a conversation between His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Rwanda, with Prof Subra Suresh, NTU President, during the World Economic Forum held in Davos in 2019.

The Minister of Education noted that, despite the difficulties caused by the global pandemic, this MoU is the culmination of very detailed discussions between NTU Senior Management and the Ministry of Education Rwanda.

Noting that the discussions helped in ensuring the MoU focusses on areas of Strength of NTU against the priorities facing the Education Sector in Rwanda and in support of the Rwandan National Strategy for Transformation which targets to establish Rwanda as a “Globally Competitive Knowledge-based Economy”.

The Minister of Education further highlighted that this partnership will yield benefits for both parties to increase both international profile and visibility, and produce professionals and scholars contributing to the global human development agenda.

www.mineduc.gov.rw

Coventry University Group to open Africa Hub in Rwanda

Coventry University Group is to open a new overseas hub in Rwanda to support its links in Sub-Saharan Africa and help extend its corporate functions across the world.

The hub will open in Kigali to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the capital in June. It is part of the university’s plan to develop a sustainable network of multi-faceted overseas offices. The ambition is to have a presence near to its stakeholders in key regions and follows the success of the Singapore and Dubai hubs.

The aim is to provide organisations and individuals throughout the world with regional access to the growing academic, research and commercial expertise that exists within all areas of the Coventry University Group.

The Africa Hub will serve as a base for Coventry University Group in the region with the aim of enabling new relationships as well as strengthening established ones.

The Africa Hub will promote the university group’s research, globalisation, enterprise and innovation work throughout the region through the development of closer relationships with embassies, government bodies, research institutes, universities and private sector entities.

The hub will be located in Kigali Heights, a mixed use development situated adjacent to the Kigali Convention Centre.

Professor John Latham CBE, Vice-Chancellor, Coventry University Group, said: “I am delighted by the progress we have made in establishing a representation office to support our work in Sub-Saharan Africa. The hub aligns with the UK International Education Strategy and will respond to the growth opportunity we have identified on the continent. Africa has a growing population largely composed of young people and economies that are among the fastest growing in the world. The Africa Hub will join our successful hubs in Singapore and Dubai to fulfil our strategic objective to be a global university delivering at a global scale.”

John Uwayezu, Country Director and Market Access Officer for UK Department for International Trade (DIT), British High Commission, Kigali, said: “I am thrilled about this regional hub; this is in line with DIT’s targeted plan of action to increase trade and investment flows between the UK and Rwanda. The hub will accelerate progress in human capital development.  An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest when it comes to economic growth and productivity; I congratulate the Government of Rwanda’s strong commitment to investing in people.”

www.coventry.ac.uk

Rwanda Telecentre Network to offer e-learning opportunity for digital users

Rwanda Telecentre Network, a network of service access points that brings digital services to people throughout Rwanda is offering young Rwandans skills for work scholarship for those who are interested to gain new skills to enter into the job market.

Why this Skills for Work Scholarship program?​

There is a clear recognition that skills, like a passport, can boost the upward mobility of the informal workforce, contributing to the employment of more women in the formal labor force. People need skills that would offer them decent work, entrepreneurship, stable income and remuneration, and social protection.

Furthermore, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown measures have impacted thousands of learners around Rwanda, leaving them with little or no option to continue their education. Thousands have lost their jobs and livelihoods and need reskilling to regain employment.

Recognizing the shortage of skilled workforce and the catastrophic effects of the pandemic on thousands of Rwandan people who have become unemployed, or are on the verge of losing their jobs, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), has launched the “Skills for Work” program as an immediate solution to these challenges.

RTN-COL Skills for Work Scholarship Program

Rwanda Telecentre Network invite eligible Rwandan citizens to apply for the Commonwealth of Learning-Skills for Work Scholarship. The aim of the scholarship is to close the skills gap for in-demand and high-demand jobs in commonwealth nations. RTN-COL aims to support the efforts of Member States to disseminate skills required for decent employment and entrepreneurship and pave the way for skilling, reskilling, upskilling, and lifelong learning.

RTN-COL will offer three types of scholarships under the Skills for Work Program:

1) RTN-COL-Grow with Google Skills for Work Scholarship

2) RTN-COL-Coursera Skills for Work Scholarship

3) RTN-COL-Udemy Skills for Work Scholarship

Do you need to pay any registration or / and course fee?

No. There is no cost to participate in the program. All courses accessible through both desktop and mobile app are provided free of cost thanks to the financial and technical assistance provided by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).

How can you Join?

Fill out the application form that can be accessed here.

rtn.rw