The platform is expected to provide digital skills to youth.
According to the a statement from the AfDB, the platform was launched during the 2019 African Economic Conference in Sharm El Sheikh- Egypt, with the sole aim of promoting a continuous learning culture among young people and build their capacity to share the future of the continent.
Africa has nearly 420 million youth, which almost one-third of them are unemployed and 10 to 12 million youth enter the workforce every year to find only 3.1 million jobs created, hence—AfDB data show that, by 2050 youth in Africa will double to 830 million.
The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution, with a rather strong foothold in supporting African nation’s development initiatives. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. On the ground in 41 African countries with an external office in Japan, the African Development Bank contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
Microsoft is an American multinational technology company, enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Further, the conference managed to bring out the best out of high-level government officials, private sector leaders and members of the academic field, who dived deep into discussing the new platform and other technological innovations, which can spur development across the African continent.
On that note, Hendrina Doroba, the African Development Bank’s acting director for Human Capital, Youth & Skills Development, finds systematic solutions are the answer to the current unemployment state.
“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. 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,” Doroba adds.
According to AfDB, the platform will instruct youth various technical courses such as web development, design, data science, and digital marketing. But also—the courses will be constantly adapted to respond to market demand, thus-Ghada Khalifa, Director of Microsoft Philanthropies for the Middle East and Africa, substantiated the latter.
“A defining challenge of our time is ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to benefit from technology. 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 added.
The Coding for Employment Program is a crucial part of the African Development Bank’s strategic agenda to create 25 million jobs by 2025 and to equip 50 million African youth with competitive skills.
AfDB piloted the program in five countries (Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Côte d’Ivoire) in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and Microsoft and is currently developing 14 ultra-modern centers specialized in ICT and entrepreneurship skills training for youth. Also, the Coding for Employment training platform can be accessed in all 54 African countries.
Further, according to AfDB, the goal is to scale up the program to 130 centers of excellence across the continent over a 10-year period. It will create nine million jobs by building synergies with the public and the private sector globally to deliver demand-driven, agile and collaborative skills to empower young people to become innovative players in the digital economy.