African Development Bank takes next step in boosting youth digital skills

  • The African Development Bank has opened a new ICT Centre of Excellence at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • This marks the second such centre opened by the bank in Kenya, the first being at the University of Nairobi.
  • Youth from ages 15 to 35 will be able to take advantage of the 40 PCs offered at the centre to increase their knowledge of in-demand digital skills.

In a bid to continue boosting its Coding for Employment programme, the African Development Bank (ADB) has opened its second Information and Communications Technology (ICT) “Centre of Excellence”.

This time at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

Coding for Employment opened the first Kenyan Center of Excellence at the University of Nairobi in March 2022. Overall, online and in-person Coding for Employment programmes have reached 152 000 youth across the continent.

ADB’s Coding for Employment programme is on a mission to equip African youth across the continent with practical 21st-century skills, as well as employability and entrepreneurship skills, to increase their competitiveness in local and global labour markets.

The program is funded through a partnership between the Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Youth beneficiaries at the centres are able to gain access to highly in-demand digital skills, entrepreneurship, and soft skills curricula to boost their employability in ICT or tech-enabled sectors through the programme.

According to a press release, the latest centre at the United States International University-Africa is equipped with 40 personal computers, printers, desks, an equipped conference room and projectors.

Those welcome at the Coding for Employment centres include young people starting at age 15 all the way to age 35 who have enrolled in the Coding for Employment program, and who do not qualify or have the means to attend traditional university programs.

Coding for Employment and its partners aim to reach over 1 800 Kenyan youths through the two centres.

“This Center of Excellence is just one example of the Bank’s commitment to supporting the next generation of African leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators,” said Hendrina Doroba, the ADB’s division manager for Education and Skills Development, at the inauguration of the centre held on 1st February 2023.

“By working together to provide young people with the tools and resources they need to succeed, we are all helping to create a more prosperous and inclusive future for all.”

Technical partners Junior Achievement Kenya and Microsoft joined ADB and Rockefeller Foundation in collaboration to establish this second centre in Kenya.

“The disproportionate barriers to technology access and lack of relevant skills in the technology sector contribute to the continent’s soaring unemployment rate,” said John Wali, executive director of Junior Achievement Kenya.

Inauguration ceremony keynote speaker Mukhtar Abdi Ogle, Secretary for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the President of the Republic of Kenya, encouraged youth to have a growth mindset and join the government in its effort to upskill with globally competitive digital skills towards decent and productive employment.  

“The future will be shaped by technology, and it is our responsibility to prepare our young people for the challenges that lie ahead,” added Doroba.

[Image – Provided]


About Author


Related News