Indian IT cos to offer internships to East Africans
By Francis Kokutse
A number of Indian Information Communication and Technology (ICT) companies are to provide a group of students from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda three to six month internships under a $23 million programme directed at East African countries and in line with India’s desire to share its skills and knowledge as part of it’s South-South development agenda.
The Indo-East African Internship Programme is one of the initiatives the five-year Supporting Indian Trade and Investment for Africa (SITA) project that aims to facilitate trade, investment and technology-transfer between India and East Africa. Hopefully, after the internship, the students will help improve the IT sector in their respective countries.
SITA officials say the first internship is to start this month, adding that each of the governments in the three African countries has prioritised the development of a vibrant IT service sector and is investing in infrastructure, skills and capacity-building to enhance competitiveness and increase socio-economic development.
The SITA project started last March and is due to be completed in March 2020. Documents on the project state it is aimed at “increasing value of business transactions between India and selected East African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania) with the ultimate objective to create jobs and income opportunities for the people in East Africa”.
“This will be achieved by enabling East Africa’s access to India’s market and facilitating investment partnerships and transfer of Indian knowledge, expertise and technology to East Africa through public-private dialogue, improving the competitiveness and capacity of East African companies and creating business linkages.”
Many African students are already enrolled with Indian universities but they often lack the opportunity of hands-on experience in Indian companies — an experience which is relevant in developing practical skills and increasing their employability.
The choice of the ICT sector is significant because of India’s considerable progress in the sphere.
Nalin Kohli — Chairman of the India IT Show 2017, to be organised by the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) in Hyderabad — said that despite global challenges during the last few years, IT exports were at $108 billion in 2015-16. This indicated “the healthy status of Indian IT industry, particularly the computer software industries and services. It also shows India’s inherent strength in the knowledge industry,” Kohli said.
Kohli said India’s IT sector continues to play an important role in the new knowledge-based socio-economic revolution that is sweeping the world.
“The world has witnessed India’s emergence as an important source of e-solutions and services for meeting the global demand of computer software services and solutions,” he added.
(Francis Kokutse can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)