AfDB, Microsoft introduce Coding for Employment Programme across Africa

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

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 centres specialised in ICT and entrepreneurship skills trainings for youth.

The digital tool was unveiled to help African youth learn to code, with a view to scaling up the programme to 130 centres of excellence across the African continent over a 10-year period.

Coding for Employment was launched at the recent 2019 African Economic Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and committed to promoting a continuous learning culture among young people and building their capacity to shape the continent’s future.

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

Also speaking at the launch, Ghada Khalifa, Director of Microsoft Philanthropies for the Middle East and Africa, said: “A defining challenge of our time is ensuring that everyone has 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.”

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.


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