AfDB launches coding programme to empower 500 rural youths in Africa

TECHDIGEST – The African Development Bank(AfDB) has partnered Microsoft Philanthropies to launch a Coding for Employment program that is set to expand digital skills of 500 rural youth in Africa and ultimately, offer the digital ambassadors an intensive three-month program featuring in-demand skills

The Coding for Employment will offer the digital ambassadors an intensive three-month program featuring in-demand skills, such as web design and digital marketing, as well as soft skills such as critical thinking, project management and communication.

At the end of the coursework, the Bank and Microsoft Philanthropies will provide graduates with information and communication technology toolkits and resources so they can offer the same training within their local communities.

“It is very important that we build upon the success of the Coding for Employment program to take digital literacy to the grassroots. The community-based model will ensure that the youth in rural areas are digitally empowered, which further affirms the Bank’s commitment to raising the next generation of digitally enabled youth and women on the continent,” said Martha Phiri, Director of the Bank’s Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department.

Coding for Employment online platforms and in-person classes offer these technical courses for free. The program recently hit a 130,000-enrollment milestone among young people across Africa on its eLearning and Digital Nigeria platforms.

The digital ambassadors initiative is part of the Bank’s strategy to center its technology and digital investments around the youth and enable them to bring about economic and social transformation in the digital age. The digital ambassadors peer-to-peer model is expected to draw more youth because it offers a more personalized learning experience.

Applicants, aged between 18 and 35 years, are expected to be proficient in English or French and must be citizens of Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, or Senegal. Coding for Employment expects to expand the digital ambassador program to other countries soon after the pilot phase.

Meanwhile, the Regional Director for Microsoft Philanthropies, Middle East and Africa, Ghada Khalifa has said the Coding for Employment programme is being done because today’s youth are future leaders and entrepreneurs. Thus, it is important to empower them.

“It is so critical that we empower the youths with the digital skills they need to contribute meaningfully to the global digital economy. Microsoft is honored to be partnering with the African Development Bank on its incredible Coding for Employment program,” he said.

Digital ambassadors will receive stipends and have access to the digital skills training centers in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Rwanda. They will also have access to a network of employers, private sector partners and freelancing platforms.

The Coding for Employment digital ambassadors initiative aims to achieve at least 50% women participation by collaborating with women’s groups and strongly encouraging women to be part of the program.

Register to become a Coding for Employment digital ambassador:

French form: https://bit.ly/3CmLvMT

English form: https://bit.ly/3HxNMbN

Application deadline for the first cohort (known as the Nile Cohort): 31st December 2021 at 5:00 pm GMT.

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