Safaricom and Strathmore University partner for Mobile Applications Academy.
Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile network and Strathmore University, one of Kenya’s leading private Universities have partnered for mobile applications training in Kenya via the “Safaricom Academy” initiative. According to Safaricom, the goal of the Safaricom Academy is to create employment through innovation and grow young talent through mobile application development that is relevant to Kenya.
The Safaricom Academy also aims to create the relevant competence in mobile applications development through partnership with existing educational institutions by enhancing their curriculum. The media announcement also emphasized that the Safaricom Academy will also act as a incubator for young application developers, enabling them to create and innovate. The main goals for the Safaricom Academy are:
- Promote local innovation in developing relevant applications for the Kenyan market.
- Create an enabling environment for the development of relevant mobile applications.
- Attracting companies with applications to host them within the Safaricom Portal.
I have to admit that of all the goals the last one points to the fact that Safaricom is ultimately looking to build a mobile applications store within their Safaricom.com mobile portal that it would be able to monetize. This will possibly further strengthen their leadership as the only 3G mobile network in Kenya. In a nutshell, Safaricom is going as far as training the next generation of mobile application developers to “feed” its data business.
In addition, by rolling out the Safaricom Academy, it goes to show that Safaricom is investing in ensuring that more and more local content and mobile applications are available in the marketplace, going forward, via their mobile network. Its a smart move not just to own the pipes but also the content that goes through it (I hope the other mobile networks are paying attention to the implications of this initiative!).
The criteria for enrollment into the Safaricom Academy as published are as follows:
- Be self-motivated and have a strong interest in mobile application development as a career.
- Be a recent graduate for final year student in Degree/Diploma in information technology, computer science, electrical engineering, business information technology or equivalent course.
- Should have attained an upper second/distinction or equivalent (final year students should have a cumulative grade leading to an upper second or equivalent).
- Have experience in java programming and object-oriented design.
- Have a good knowledge of a relational database management system (e.g. MySQL, MS SQL, Oracle or a similar DBMS) and experience in database design.
- Be fully available to attend this course for its entire duration (5 weeks on full-time basis).
- Experience handling SMS APIs will be an added vantage.
Candidates for the Safaricom Academy can apply for entry via Strathmore University’s web site at