Pre-MEST Program kicks off with more cohorts than ever this year!
Pre-MEST addresses the tech talent pipeline shortage with digital skills training and job linkages.
Last month, we welcomed our newest cohort of trainees into the Pre-MEST training program. More than 100 participants — half of them women — from across the country gathered at our six partner hubs in Wa, Bolgatanga, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Ho, and Kumasi to kick off the program’s first cohort of the year. Pre-MEST is one of three new programs designed by MEST Africa to create more opportunities for young people in technology across Ghana. For a period of 12-weeks, participants in the program receive free training in either Software Development or Digital Marketing, and gain work experience through paid internships to prepare them for the job market.
Launched in September 2020, Pre-MEST is an early-stage training program that supports young people in Ghana looking to acquire digital skills. The program provides training scholarships and work opportunities to increase the employability of Ghanaian youth. Africa currently faces a huge challenge when it comes to digital skills acquisition and youth unemployment. By 2030, it is estimated that over 200 million jobs across the continent will require digital skills, presenting a critical opportunity to address this problem through essential digital skills training and increased ICT literacy among young Africans. Pre-MEST was created with the goal of addressing the underlying causes that prevent young people from establishing careers in technology, and scaling MEST’s impact across Ghana.
“MEST developed the program to increase the impact that the organisation has made on the continent toward developing the next generation of digitally skilled young people and spark innovative ecosystems across Africa. With the skills development track of the program, we seek to help young people in Ghana secure dignified work opportunities by supporting them to acquire skills that are in demand, and match them with work opportunities,” said Femi Adewumi, Director of Programs at MEST.
To date, the program has trained over 500 young people across 6 regions in Ghana. This year, Pre-MEST will run six cohorts across three different areas — two in software development, two in digital marketing, and two social media marketing. The software development courses will take place at Yison Tech Hub in Wa and Code Coast in Cape Coast, digital marketing at Ho Node Hub in Ho, Dansyn ISO in Bolgatanga, iCode in Takoradi and Women’s Haven Africa in Kumasi — a hub focused on empowering women through tech. Whizzy Academy, also in Kumasi, will run two social media marketing courses in Kumasi and Accra.
“It has been incredible seeing the program grow in reach and impact over the past year and a half. We started off piloting four cohorts virtually in Accra, during the pandemic, and as things progressed we saw a need to expand our reach to other parts of the country. Now, just over a year after we launched, we’ve been able to train hundreds of young people, equipping them with vital digital skills, giving them access to jobs and transforming lives in the process.
We have been able to achieve this much impact with the support of our valuable partners spread across the length and breadth of the country — Women’s Haven Africa, Ho Node Hub, Yison Tech Hub, Code Coast, iCode and Dansyn ISO,” said Liana Tamakloe-Ekuadzi, Program Manager, Pre-MEST.