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AfDB Inaugurates Second Coding For Employment Centre In Kenya

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has opened a second Information and Communications Technology Centre of Excellence at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.

This marks an important milestone for the Bank’s Coding for Employment programme and its growing partnerships with higher education and technical and vocational education and training institutions across Africa.

Coding for Employment opened the first Kenyan Center of Excellence at the University of Nairobi in March 2022. The AfDB’s Coding for Employment programme is aimed at enhancing youth digital skills.

The programmes is developing the capacity of African youth by equipping them with practical 21st century skills, as well as employability and entrepreneurship skills, to increase their competitiveness in local and global labor markets. It is funded through a partnership between the Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Its technical partners, Junior Achievement Kenya and Microsoft joined the AfDB and Rockefeller Foundation collaboration to establish this second center in Kenya.

Notably, these centers are open to youth aged 15 – 35 who have enrolled in the Coding for Employment program, and who do not qualify or have the means to attend traditional university programs. Coding for Employment and its partners aim to reach over 1,800 Kenyan youth through the two centers.

Meanwhile, overall, online and in person Coding for Employment programms have reached 152,000 youth across the continent.

Representatives from Kenya’s Office of the President joined officials from United States International University-Africa and the Bank Group for the opening ceremony.

The Bank’s Division Manager for Education and Skills Development, Hendrina Doroba, who represented speaking on behalf of the AfDB’s Director General for Eastern Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo said the Center of Excellence is just one example of the Bank’s commitment to supporting the next generation of African leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

“By working together to provide young people with the tools and resources they need to succeed, we are all helping to create a more prosperous and inclusive future for all.

“The future will be shaped by technology, and it is our responsibility to prepare our young people for the challenges that lie ahead”, she said.

Similarly, Vice Chancellor of United States International University-Africa, Prof. Margee Ensign said the university is excited to partner with the AfDB in this initiative because, according to her,  it perfectly aligns with the universigy’s strategic plan that aims to educate the young people for complex global challenges and be the changemakers in Africa.

Coding for Employment program beneficiaries have access to demand-driven digital skills, entrepreneurship, and soft skills curriculum to boost their employability in information and communications technology or tech-enabled sectors. The university center is equipped with 40 computers, printers, desks, ergonomic office chairs, an equipped conference room and projectors.

Executive Director, Junior Achievement Kenya, John Wali noted that the disproportionate barriers to technology access and lack of relevant skills in the technology sector contribute to the continent’s soaring unemployment rate.

“Therefore, digital skills are a critical factor in making young people more employable in the current economy and our aim is to teach them to be different and disruptive”, he added.

The keynote speaker and Secretary for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mukhtar Abdi Ogle encouraged youth to have a growth mindset and join the government in its effort to upskill the youth with globally competitive digital skills towards decent and productive employment.


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