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Better access to the IT job markets for tech entrepreneurs and coders in Buea, Cameroon

Partner: Activ Spaces, Cameroon
Duration: January 2018 – May 2019
Financial Support: Foundation North-South Bridges through means of the German Federal Ministry for Development Cooperation and private donations

Media in Gemany report only very little about what is happening in the city of Buea in Cameroon. The capital of the Southwest region in the anglophone part of Cameroon is also called Silicon Mountain, because of its lively tech scene. The university with its technical focus, the numerous start-ups and the young programmers and IT experts are an important economic engine in the city.

Participants learning agile project development

Cameroon Tech Center in Conflict Zone

However, living and working conditions are not easy in the region. The conflict with the francophone region has been smouldering for years. Since 2017, about 430,000 people from the region were forced to flee according to the UN. About 42,500 children from the region do not go to school, there’s probably a lot more. Curfews and lockdowns in the city happen frequently.

IT education for better access to the labour market

Precisely because the conditions for young people are not easy in Buea, Leapfrog decided to support the Cameroonian NGO Activ Spaces in supporting young coders and start ups. With the aim of qualifying 200 young coders and entrepreneurs to better accesss the job markets, we have upgraded the TechHub of ActivSpaces and made it more suitable for knowledge transfer and development of IT solutions.

WordPress trainings are one of the most popular modules in the Leapfrog – Activ Spaces training programme

We are providing intensive and multiplicator trainings on the following topics:

  • Building Webapplications with PHP
  • Bootcamp zu Front and Backend-Development
  • Software Life Cycle Management
  • IT Entrepreneurship
  • Agile Project Development

What participants of the IT classes say about the training:

“Very interesting because following the agile methodologies is something we commonly do not do.”
“An encouraging level of team spirit from all participants.”
“Loved that we had remotely interaction with a client and learnt how to communicate with a client before contract and during execution of the project.”

Leapfrog is also promoting two hackathons. The winner of the first Hackathon from December 2018 is the start-up “Digital Renter”, an online real estate marketplace.

Mobile App Development Hackathon in Buea

Connecting IT scenes of Kenya and Cameroon

In August 2018, the Director of Activ Spaces Valery Colong and its Business Development Manager Laye Mbunkur visited Nairobi and Kitale in Kenya for an exchange with our partner Mitume Community Development Project. The valuable experiences Activ Spaces has gained in building its hubs in Buea and Douala have been very helpful to our Kenyan partner, who is working on setting up  a hub in Kitale. For the first time in East Africa and in Nairobi’s lively IT scene, our Cameroonian partner felt this exchange for his work very inspirining.

It was a great experience overall. We learned a lot ourselves as much as we did share a lot. We greatly encourage starting a tech hib in Kitale. The soll is fertile, the right seeds just needs to be sowed”, said Valery.