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AfDB Backs Digital Technology Development In Rwanda




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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a grant agreement with the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and Innovation in Rwanda to support the East African nation’s Coding Academy.

The Rwanda Coding Academy (RCA) was set up to develop top technology talent to drive a booming, innovation-driven digital economy in the country. It was established as a proof-of-concept model school for developing ICT and other 21st century skills for high school level students who want to pursue a career in coding and computer science.

The RCA is a special model school established in 2019 by the Government of Rwanda as a hybrid of general education, and technical and vocational training (TVET). It specializes in teaching software development, embedded systems programming and cyber security to students who are “born to code”.

The academy selects high performing students and trains them in advanced software programing and cyber security skills to facilitate their emergence as world-class programmers.

In addition, its learning approach aims to strengthen the school-to-work transition by focusing on competency-based learning and providing technical skills as well as soft skills, such as agile learning, critical thinking and self-leadership

The grant funding of $150,000, from the Rockefeller Trust Fund which the AfDB administers, will be directed to the implementation of activities, including acquisition of computers and furniture equipment for an ultra-modern innovation center of excellence, internet connectivity, teacher training and organization of job career orientation events.

Moreover, the grant will also be used to finance on-job training for teachers and equipping the school with the necessary tools to facilitate the learning experience of students.

Rwandan Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire said the Rwandan government welcomed the partnership with the bank, adding that the academy’s learning model requires robust digital infrastructure and a dynamic teaching approach from the instructors.

 “The Rwanda Coding Academy is part of our broader vision to grow a local pool of highly talented Pan-African workforce in science, technology and innovation” she said

The acting Director General for the AfDB’s Eastern Region, Nnenna Nwabufo noted that the  collaboration between the bank and the Government of Rwanda aims to demonstrate that empowering African youth with demand-driven skills and providing them with opportunities to be part of the ICT ecosystem as early as possible, will enable them to claim their space in the digital sector and be equal drivers of innovative ideas that are shaping the present and the future of Africa and the globe..

“This proof-of-concept has profound implications on how the education sector can adapt an effective response to the persistent skills mismatches in the labour market, not only in Rwandan but in Africa at large,” she added.


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