The African Development Bank and Microsoft have launched what they call the Coding for Employment digital training platform (Coding4Employment.org), described as an online tool to provide digital skills to African youth, wherever they are across the continent.
The platform, launched at the 2019 African Economic Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, aims to promote a continuous learning culture among young people and build their capacity to shape the continent’s future.
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. It is accessible on mobile devices, even in low internet connectivity settings and has an affordable, easy-to-navigate, secured and private interface. The Coding for Employment training platform can be accessed across 54 African countries.
The Coding for Employment Programme is a crucial part of the African Development Bank’s strategic agenda to create 25 million jobs by 2025, and to equip 50 million young Africans with competitive skills. The Bank piloted the programme in five countries (Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire) in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and Microsoft, and is currently developing 14 centres specialized in ICT and entrepreneurship skills trainings for youth.
The goal is to scale up the programme to 130 centres of excellence across the continent over a 10-year period. It will, says the African Development Bank, 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.
The high-level event in Sharm El Sheikh drew heads of state and government, ministers and leaders from the private sector and academia to discuss how this new tool and other technological innovations could be used to spur development across the continent.