By Jean d’Amour Mugabo [caption id="attachment_61708" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Panelists discuss how to accelerate African Single Digital Market in Kigali last year. Smart Africa is the organiser of annual Tranform Africa Summit. Courtesy photo[/caption] Smart Africa Alliance has entered a partnership with Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS) aimed to address skills shortage in technological industry and chart the way for the future of telecoms and IT infrastructure in Africa. TCTS, an India-based global leader in transformative business operations and managed network services, announced Monday that the partnership will be implemented under the Skill Africa Programme. The programme will see 150 engineers from across Africa trained on a variety of next-generation technologies including Cyber-security, Internet of Things, Cloud, Big data, Robotics and Smart Cities. “We are committed to accelerate Africa’s journey to the 4th Industrial Revolution through enabling ICT infrastructure across the continent,” said Madhusudhan Mysore, Executive Chairman and CEO, TCTS, in a joint statement. “To ensure long term sustainability and growth in ICT services we need to address the skills gap. TCTS has launched this program to provide hands on experience in technology and operations of ICT networks.” Through this skills development program, each of the 25 Smart Africa Alliance member states will designate six engineering professionals to take part in the Programme. The engineers will attend the program at TCTS Renaissance Training Centre in India. Each 30-member cohort will be trained for an intensive one-week period with the first group expected to start in October with the final group expected to complete the training before the Transform Africa Summit 2020. “In order for Africa to be ready for the jobs of the future, our engineers and professionals need to be equipped with the requisite skill sets. The Skill Africa Programme is about more than just training 150 African people but also about starting a skills transfer chain where the initial 150 can exponentially impart these skills to thousands across Africa,” said Mr Lacina Koné, Director General of Smart Africa. [caption id="attachment_61709" align="alignnone" width="541"] Skill Africa Programme to offer ICT skills to African engineers[/caption] Smart Africa Alliance is a continental governments and private sector’s initiative which is defining Africa's Digital Agenda and driving the Continental Single Digital Market. Launched in 2013 by seven African Heads of State, the alliance has grown to include 25 countries and several prominent private sector and academia members. Its founding members include the African Union Commission (AUC), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the GSM Association (GSMA) and ICANN.