About Us

10 Academy is a not-for-profit community-owned project to train highly talented young Africans for careers with outsized impact, those that power the 4th Industrial Revolution.  10 Academy’s has completed 3 batches of training for graduates from 15 countries in Africa and 10 Academy training currently focuses on data science; other fields of study will be added soon.


The rate of transition to jobs for university graduates in Africa is poor (29% youth unemployment rate), with graduates struggling with a lack of alignment between their training and the skills employers need.  Employers report a similar difficulty in securing qualified young African talent, which often leads to a prevalence of hiring expatriate talent or having to launch their own training programs to upskill recruits. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which constitutes a variety of fields including data science, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics provides a major development opportunity for Africa. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), most African economic growth should come from capitalising its human capacity in areas of data science, which has a lower infrastructure requirement than the other fields of the 4IR. There is also a growing demand for hiring talent that not only has advanced digital skills, but the ability to use these digital skills to amplify their work and to predict and solve emergent challenges. Globally, there is a shortage of 80,000 data scientists and demand is growing 15% year-on-year and it is expected that this shortage will be mirrored in other advanced digital fields.  

10 Academy is bridging the gap between employers looking for top talent with 4IR skills and brilliant young people in Africa by providing university graduates from Africa with training and certification of their high potential and other career competencies, along with a rich portfolio of completed projects and an online profile rich in data to showcase their work readiness.  10 Academy is using the innovative tenx teaching-learning model which is an intensive, cost-effective, project-based on-line model that provides high-potential young African university graduates with the competencies to transition into careers that make transformative contributions within their workplaces and communities. 10 Academy’s approach solves two key pain points for employers: 

  • 10 Academy’s system simplifies finding well-trained graduates ready to take up 4IR jobs;
  • 10 Academy’s tenx teaching-learning model provides rich data gathered over many months which allows employers to identify high-potential talent that will become future leaders for their companies.

10 Academy has been able to place 90% of graduates into full-time work within 6 months of finishing their training.

Not for Profit

10 Academy is a not-for-profit initiative.

Community-owned cooperative

Inspired by the open-source software movement as well as the agricultural sectors, both of which develop programs under the guidance of beneficiaries, 10 Academy is a community-owned cooperative.  Membership of the cooperative is open to the 10 Academy training community, with activities delivered by a combination of paid team members and volunteers.  A set of advisors will help to guide 10 Academy, providing technical and directional support.


A board of directors will be voted from among the members, with the following composition:

  • 2x co-founders
  • 2x trainees
  • 1x independent member


Arun Sharma, Cofounder 

Arun has experience in the development of talent in Africa working with (among others) the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), World Bank, Johnson & Johnson, GIZ, Robert Bosch Foundation and IDRC.

Dr. Yabebal Fantaye, Cofounder

Yabebal is an award-winning data scientist with extensive research and teaching expertise. He taught at 10 Academy pilot and was recently named WEF Young Scientist, NEF Fellow, Research Chair holder in Data Science and Cosmology


Berhanu Abegaz, Former Executive Director – African Academy of Sciences

Berhanu Abegaz is a chemist by profession with long years of experience in teaching, research, ST&I, policy and Executive leadership. He is working closely with the Au HRST in developing a strategic plan for the pan African University. He is also a member of the African Union High Level Panel on Emerging Technologies. He is the immediate past Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences who has led the efforts within the Academy in increasing the Fellowship, women Fellows, think-tank and advisory services, and creation of the Agenda-setting and funding platform known as Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA ). Abegaz has served in many organizations such as the UNESCO, ICSU, IOCD and IFS.

Berhanu brings his experience in teaching, research and innovation from across Africa to 10 Academy.

Bruce Bassett, Professor University of Cape Town, Head of Data Science at SKA Africa

Bruce’s work focuses on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and inference, historically with an emphasis on cosmology and astronomy but more recently in a wide range of applications including COVID-19. Through his involvement in large astronomical international surveys such as the MeerKAT, SDSS, and DES, Bruce has also worked extensively in optimisation, Bayesian statistics and Big Data.

Bruce was one of the vice-presidents of the International Astrostatistics Association and brings his experience in teaching and education in Data Science to 10 Academy.

Phil Clay, Professor and former Chancellor, MIT

Phillip Clay is a professor of housing policy and city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and served as its Chancellor from 2001 to 2010. As Chancellor he was responsible for graduate and undergraduate education as well as institutional partnerships. He has served the US National Housing Trust, the Mastercard Foundation, UNC Chapel Hill, the Kresge Foundation and others.

Phil brings his MIT experience in education and recent work in education and research in Africa to 10 Academy.

Alex Farcet, Cofounder and Managing Director – Startupbootcamp

Alex is a Founder and Partner at Rainmaking and Co-Founder and Managing Director of Startupbootcamp, a global network of 20+ industry-focused programs that has helped 700+ startups raise more than $600MUSD in funding.

Alex brings his experience in startups, partnering and company founding to 10 Academy.

Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa and Member of the Executive Committee – World Economic Forum

Elsie is Head of Africa and Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum. From 2006 to 2011, she served as Personal Assistant to H.E. J.M Kikwete, President of the Republic of Tanzania (responsible for Economic Affairs). World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Elsie serves on a number of non-profit and advisory boards, including the UONGOZI Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development and The Nature Conservancy.

Elsie brings her experience in launching continent-wide and global initiatives to 10 Academy.


Intensive Training

Training delivered intensively and directly by 10 Academy’s team to provide a full-set of career skills to the highest potential applicants.  Graduates will have the necessary skills to be career ready and will be placed directly into careers through 10 Academy’s network of employers.


A vibrant curated community of 10 Academy alumni to share content, inspiration and support with other high-potential trained African youth.

Tenx training model

10 Academy’s training model (called tenx) is natively designed to be delivered online, allowing for rapid scale up and dovetail with in-person support where possible.  tenx has been built using an iterative process that explored multiple upskilling propositions, and which benchmarked hiring processes at leading companies (McKinsey, Amazon, Google) as well as scientific research (Clynes, Nature, 2016).

  • Link and engage the 10 Academy community
  • Efficiently deliver training content
  • Build a rich profile of trainees skill growth over time, and for each trainee to showcase the progress in their talent profile

Spoke Training

Training delivered with partner institutions, reaching many thousands of students in parallel.  In-person support provided where possible.  To be added in future.

Past and Present Partners

Results to date


10 Academy has completed 3 batches of training to date – these are:

  • Batch 1, 2017 – In-person training for 22 young people in 2017 – 2000 applicants – 90% placed into jobs within 3 months
  • Batch 2, 2019 – Online training graduating 3 young people from across Africa in 2019 – 1000 applicants, 3 completed the course, 1 placed into work within 3 months.  Training ended early due to the training model not working as expected.
  • Batch 3, 2020 – Online training graduating 35 young people from 4 countries in 2020 – 800+ applicants.  5 placed into work within 1 month.


tenx Training Model

Established an effective and cost-effective training model, current focussed on data science.  700+ hours of training over 3 months.  Using weekly challenges, live tutors, flipped classroom and community building, trained fresh graduates in data science.


Learner Feedback

Net Promoter score from Batch 3 – 100% rated 9 or a 10, average score of 9.9.



10 Academy has been successful at placing its trainees into jobs, and will work to expand this.

  • Batch 1 – 90% placed into careers within 3 months of training
  • Batch 2 – 1 of 3 placed into a career within 3 months of training.
  • Batch 3 – Goal of 90% of trainees placed into careers within 6 months of training.  30% placed within 10 weeks of training end.


10 Academy plans to train 20 million youth, place more than 10,000 directly into careers with outsized impact and to build a vibrant community of 10 Academy alumni, catalyzing youth to propel Africa forward towards the 4th Industrial Revolution.  10 Academy has modelled a set of scenarios for reaching its goal of 20M trainees and 10,000 job placements, and ambitious scenarios forecast reaching these goals by 2026 at the earliest.