Africa's LinkedIn – SkilledAfricans is a social network, recruitment and training platform built for Africa. Its co-founder and CEO, Dr Nicolas Bussard, was an e-commerce university lecturer by the age of 21.
The site and newly-launched mobile app offers over 400 online courses for free, allowing professionals to certify their skills for employers. Face-to-face training events, like this one on assertiveness, are paid for.
The site hopes to help Africa's growing workforce to combat employment challenges. "Employment is one of the biggest issues in Africa, along with health," said CEO Bussard. "We want to provide people with the tools to learn and certify their skills."
Based in Dakar, SkilledAfricans employs 12 full time staff and 45 freelance trainers. "It's very important to provide content that is adapted to Africa," said Bussard. "Some online courses rely heavily on videos, which would load too slowly in many countries."
The site's members are split 50:50 between French and English-speaking countries, with plans to add Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. However local languages will not be featured. "If you're looking for a good job in Senegal, you must speak French," Bussard insisted.
Bussard, pictured center at the New York Forum Africa, has big ambitions for the training platform. "When we get to 5 million users, we want to work with the U.N. and the World Bank on projects that deal with unemployment issues," he said.