Safaricom, the Kenyan telecommunications company, in partnership with United States International University Africa (USIU-Africa) has launched a one-year mentorship program for students at the university.
The mentorship programme will afford students at the university paired up with personalities from people from Safaricom. The program is currently the first of its kind for the telecoms company as it tries to bridge the skills gap between what students learn in school and skills demanded in the workplace.
For this pilot phase, a pool of 20 mentors will be drawn from several teams within the organisation including Safaricom’s Women in Leadership, Safaricom Women in Technology and Safaricom Rising Stars. The interactions between mentor and protege will occur face to face, every month and is designed in such a way that the impact will be measurable.
At the launch of the program, the CEO of Safaricom, Bob Collymore, said, “There have been widespread discussions on the quality of graduates leaving our universities. Many corporate organisations have raised concerns over graduates’ readiness for the workplace, so it is our responsibility to partner with learning institutions to transform the lives of these students by ensuring that the skills we require are imparted to them before they graduate.”
The Vice Chancellor of USIU-Africa, Professor Freida Brown, also said, “We are extremely pleased to be collaborating with Safaricom to launch this programme, which we feel will be highly beneficial as we seek to prepare our students for the increasingly competitive job market. I believe this programme is key to achieving USIU-Africa’s vision to be a premier institution of academic excellence with a global perspective and will give our graduates an advantage as they go out into the world.”
The program will provide personal, academic and career guidance to the student participants.