Developing Essential Digital Skills for Women and Youth in Africa: Enhancing Employment Opportunities and Livelihood Development in the Digital Economy
This programme is made possible by the support of the Government and People of Japan.
Africa is a continent of extraordinary diversity and potential. With a population of over 1.4 billion people with the majority being youth, the continent is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and is becoming more integrated into the global economy. Across the African continent, we are witnessing an unprecedented wave of innovation and disruption as technology is transforming every aspect of African society. However, more can be done to leverage the benefits of digital technologies. Africa has shown great potential and steady progress. Yet, it still faces serious challenges including power supply issues; lack of quality infrastructure; institutional failures that hinder the promotion of trade and investment; food insecurity; urbanization; urban and rural poverty; and socioeconomic inequality between urban and rural areas.
Providing training on Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) skills to the underrepresented, especially women and youth, can lead to increased leveraging of digital technology opportunities like the rest of the world. This can culminate in Africa becoming leaders in the adoption of new innovative technologies, which can provide solutions to some of the challenges faced by the continent.
To this end, this programme aims to enhance the employability and competitiveness of African women and youth in the global workforce, readying them with 4IR and future of work digital skills in a digital-driven world. Through partnership and collaboration, the participants will be mentored along their journey to unlock their potential and build sustainable ventures and businesses to improve the economic health of their communities, people and the planet.
At the end of the programme, the participants will be able to:
Phase I: September to December 2023
- Critically review how digital upskilling can enhance employment opportunities
- Critically review the relationship between digital technologies and sustainable economic growth
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills to develop strategies to facilitate knowledge-building in the digital sector
- Develop a foundational understanding of digital infrastructure and connectivity.
Phase II: December 2023 to January 2024
- Develop enterprises that are digitally driven and embrace tech4good
- Use digital skills including identifying issues relating to data quality, ethics, privacy and security to secure digital ecosystem.
- Understand practices of computer-supported collaborative learning and knowledge-building pedagogies for training of other innovators
- Understand digital inclusion principles to contribute to an inclusive environment environment to ensure no one is left behind.
Phase III: February 2024
- Gain comprehensive understanding of emerging technologies and how it affects economic development.
- Use leadership skills to drive change and innovation in the ever evolving digital landscape
- Demonstrate self-awareness, curiosity, strategic thinking, teamwork and sensitivity to the needs of society
- Cultivate entrepreneurial skills and mindset needed in the digital technology domain.
The modules will cover the development of hard and soft skills tailored to the specific needs of the participants and the industry. The following are the broad thematic areas to be covered (subject to change based on the needs of the selected participants):
- Digital infrastructure & connectivity
- Digital innovation and transformation
- Frontier technologies including AI, big data, robotics, blockchain, IoT, and VR
- Software development
- Cybersecurity & Data protection
- Digital media
- Project management
- Digital inclusion and digital gender divide
- Digital entrepreneurship
- Training of trainers
- Training for coaches
- Leadership and locally-led ecosystem building
The programme is divided into 3 phases with participants incrementally advancing to the next phases.
Phase I – Online Training (September to December 2023)
- Participants will complete self-paced asynchronous e-modules on a digital learning platform, augmented by webinars and online coaching and mentoring support.
Phase II – Self-led Projects and Virtual Boot Camp/Application (December 2023 to January 2024)
- The participants will be selected from phase I based on their performance including their assignments and presentations. Self-led projects and virtual boot camps will allow participants to apply their skills and knowledge in addressing a development challenge.
Phase III – Sustainability and Community Leadership Training (February 2024)
- Participants who reach phase III will have access to additional training on community-building and leadership skills and create a strong network of trainers for future cohorts.
An online platform will be set up to facilitate information-sharing and connect employers, the African diaspora, and jobseekers in the digital sector to promote employment and innovation at country, regional and global levels.
The Programme will be delivered in English.
The programme will prioritize participants from the following countries: Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In particular, we are looking for women and youth who:
- are keen to learn by doing, with passion for development and information technologies.
- are between 18 and 35 years old, however women of all ages, including those over 35, are encouraged to apply, as their unique experiences and skills are valued.
- have good oral and written English communication skills.
- are computer literate and have access to a laptop/internet.
- are interested in leveraging opportunities brought by digital technology.
- are passionate to succeed and make a positive impact on their communities.
- are committed to completing the Programme.
- interested to keep their tech skills up to date or break into a tech career.
- can provide a recommendation letter from an individual with verifiable credentials.
- are (preferably) university graduate and are tech savvy.
A Certificate of Completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully.
Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:
- Operating System: Windows 10 or MacOS version 11 and later
- Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at adobe.com).
- Browser: Latest version of Microsoft Edge or Safari or Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox (downloadable for free).
- Internet connection: Stable LAN or Wifi Internet connection