AfDB partners with Microsoft to launch digital tool to help African youth learn to code

AFRICA – The African Development Bank and technology firm Microsoft have launched the ‘Coding for Employment’ digital training platform, an online tool to provide digital skills to African youth, wherever they are across the continent.

The platform, aims to promote a continuous learning culture among young people and build their capacity to shape the continent’s future, AFDB said in a statement.

“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,” said Hendrina Doroba, the African Development Bank’s acting director for Human Capital, Youth & Skills Development.

The statement further revealed that the platform teaches technical courses such as web development, design, data science and digital marketing and will be constantly adapted to respond to market demand.

 According to AfDB, the program has an affordable, easy-to-navigate, secured and private interface and interested youth can access it on mobile devices, even in low internet connectivity settings.

“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.

“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.”

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.

 The Bank 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 trainings for youth.

The goal is to scale up the program to 130 centers of excellence across the continent over a 10-year period.

 AfDB hopes that the program 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.

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