Oracle, a computer technology company, has announced a partnership with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to begin a workforce development program for young refugees in Kenya in collaboration with Oracle University.

The UNHCR delivers professional learning courses on Oracle Cloud technologies to refugees with a core background in information technology. Participants also earn a complete course certification from Oracle University, enabling them to join Africa’s dynamic ICT industry.

Kenya is currently the second-largest hosting country of refugees and asylum seekers in Africa behind Ethiopia. According to UNHCR, Kenya’s population of refugees and asylum seekers is at 519,989 in Kakuma, Dadaab and in urban areas as of 31st May, 2021.

“IT skills training is repeatedly mentioned as a priority by refugees for a better future. UNHCR is committed to exploring innovative ways to ensure that refugees can improve their well-being and dignity through industry associations such as the programmes with Oracle. This will help refugees acquire industry-led skills training and global certifications which ultimately enhance the prospect of self or wage employment,” said UNHCR Kenya’s Assistant Livelihood Officer, Meshack Mwololo.

So far, 13 young learners have received training on Java SE8 fundamentals and Java SE8 programming in Kakuma and Nairobi refugee camps under the program. The participants have successfully completed the qualifying course exams and earned their professional certification from trainings delivered by Oracle’s workforce development partner and member of Oracle Partner Network, Zinger Solutions.

“As digital transformation gathers pace across Africa, programming skills continue to be in high demand. This training program is designed to help prepare young learners kickstart a rewarding career in the IT industry, directly empowering the youth in refugee camps to sustain their livelihood,” said David Bunei, Country Leader, Oracle Kenya.