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German eLearning platform empowers Africans to get free vocational education

TECH DIGEST – The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through its digital learning platform, atingi has empowered over 800, 000 Africans to get vocational education and self-development courses for free.

The platform, which berthed in Africa 12 months ago to enables Africa’s youth reach their personal potential helps give educational content that meets the needs of African audiences free of charge.

African countries of Togo, Niger, Rwanda and Benin were used as a pilot to run the atingi platform, enabling learning proposition to be dynamically evaluated, adapted and targeted to local needs.

Africa is recognized as a potential global workforce hub for the rest of the world because of its high youth population. In fact, by 2030, Africa will be home to more than a quarter of the world’s population of under 25s, and 15% of the world’s working population. To date, the lack of access to high-quality education for its working-age citizens has been a critical inhibitor of African country’s ability to compete effectively in the international labour market.

There is an urgent need, therefore, for the continent to expand its pool of highly-skilled employees through the development of relevant, vocational skill sets.

This is where the role of digital transformation becomes significant. Digital technologies open up new avenues for rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation and access to services that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. In this context, online learning and orientation opportunities are essential to enable people in Africa to keep pace with the digital transformation beyond their borders. This not only ensures they are well qualified for the jobs of the future, but it can also ensure a more integrated knowledge economy that moves Africa, and its citizens, closer to realizing their economic and personal potential.

“eLearning is ideal for the digital transfer of knowledge and improvement of the living conditions for many people in African countries. The Corona pandemic once again incontrovertibly demonstrated to us how important it is to digitalise education, thereby facilitating access for all,” said atingi’s Project Leader Jan-Gerrit Groeneveld.

According to him, atingi has succeeded in enabling people on the ground to receive education and training via the latest technology; both ensuring people access skills development easily and that digital transformation in Africa is advanced substantially too.

“Early user acceptance of the learning platform has exceeded initial expectations, which strengthens our belief that investing in digital education infrastructure on the African continent is the right way for us to contribute to unlocking the enormous local economic potential,” he added.

Groeneveld also noted that for the next year, the aim for atingi is to grow exponentially in terms of user numbers, to scale approaches that have proven successful in the four pilot countries in other African markets, and to steadily expand cooperation with companies and learning content contributors.