The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the need for digital skills to adapt to the changing nature of doing business and interpersonal interactions, however African youth still lack access to relevant digital training and matching employment opportunities. Through the Coding for Employment program, the team at the African Development Bank in partnership with Microsoft, are raising a critical mass of digitally enabled African youth linking them to opportunities.
The program, which forms part of the Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy, works to provide youth with access to digital tools and equip them with ICT, entrepreneurship and soft skills training to compete in a digital economy. For women especially, the digital gender divide results in low digital literacy often means loss of opportunities and further marginalisation, however about 2000 youth, 46% of which are women, have benefited across five countries through this program since 2018.
Odetola Oluwapelumi, a university graduate in Nigeria, says she struggled to find work upon graduating and settled as the manager of her husband’s chicken farm as a result. She says with her digital education through the Coding for Employment program she was able to receive a paid for position as a labeling and annotation agent for an online company.
“The training has been beneficial to me because I was a nursing mother with no job and nothing to support my family, but now I’ve been able to work remotely from home. The unfolding pandemic exacerbates employment uncertainties and rates of unemployment across the globe, especially for youth,” says Oluwapelumi.
Over 18 000 users across 45 countries have taken courses on the programmes’ digital platform with a significant surge since the COVID-19 outbreak. The team at the African Development Bank strive to do their part to build back a better Africa in the post-COVID world by offering this relevant training for youth. Watch the video below: