African Development Bank: upskilling the next generation

By Maureen Maingi

The African Development Bank has teamed with Microsoft to create “Coding for Employment”, a digital tool that will teach African youths how to code in a bid to upskill the next generation.

The African Development Bank has launched the tool that will aim to shape the future of employment in the continent by providing the educational materials to Africa’s youth. The digital platform was launched at the 2019 African Economic Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt and has garnered the attention of heads of state and government, ministers and leaders from the private sector, as well as those from academia. 

“The youth employment and skills development challenge is a complex issue that requires systemic thinking and bold partnerships … to address the existing skills gap and link youth to decent and sustainable employment,” said Hendrina Doroba, the African Development Bank’s acting director for Human Capital, Youth & Skills Development.

“The skills training platform launched today is a testament to the impact that such partnerships can achieve and the Bank looks forward to strengthening similar partnerships.”

What does the platform offer?

The platform provides a number of courses, including web development, design, data science and digital marketing. Courses also include 'Microsoft Office 101,' guides to using Microsoft Office 365, story time and its virtual academy. In addition to this, it has posted its first coding class, 'Code with Minecraft,'" using the popular video game to engage young learners with the content. “A defining challenge of our time is ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to benefit from technology,” Ghada Khalifa, Director of Microsoft Philanthropies for the Middle East and Africa, said at the launch.

 

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The bigger picture 

The Coding for Employment Program is a key component of the African Development Bank’s strategic agenda, which will aim to create 25 million jobs by 2025, while also providing 50 million African youths with the skills needed to competitively navigate the workplace. Its overall goal is to create 130 centres of excellence across the continent over the next 10 years, as well as 9 million jobs by building upon synergies in the public and private sectors.

“Forward-thinking initiatives such as the digital training platform represent our commitment to helping drive the momentum needed. Though there is still much work to be done, we believe that through dynamic partnerships such as these, we can help build a knowledge-based economy in Africa that leaves no person behind,” he concluded.

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.

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