Coding for employment forum

The Jobs for Youth Africa (JfYA) Coding for Employment flagship program

Overview of the Program: The Jobs for Youth Africa (JfYA) Coding for Employment flagship program aims to develop and launch Africa’s next generation of digitally enabled youthful workforce. The program will: 1) equip 130 centers of excellence with ICT infrastructure, 2) train young people in demand driven ICT skills and entrepreneurship and 3) provide graduates with linkages to the ICT ecosystem for internships and job opportunities. Specifically, each center of excellence is expected to train at least 1,800 young people which will contribute to the wider program objective of training 234,000 youth and creating 9 million jobs over the next decade. Five (5) countries have been identified to pilot the program namely Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. In each country, a maximum of five innovation centers of excellence will be hosted in partner institutions1. The Coding for Employment program is a partnership between the Bank and The Rockefeller Foundation and other private sector knowledge partners such as Microsoft and Facebook.

Project Impact: Through demand-driven training, the program will equip youth across the continent with the skills needed to secure ICT, ICT-enabled and ICT services employment. The program will provide both technical, and entrepreneurship skills that are transferable across sectors. The beneficiaries of this program will be youth aged between 15 and 35 years who are currently unemployed or underemployed with particular consideration given to vulnerable and disadvantaged youth. The program will strategically position them to compete for the jobs of the “present” and the “future”. Beyond skills development, the program seeks to drive the creation of an “innovation ecosystem” where key stakeholders (private sectors, youth and government) in the sector can adopt a sustainable, integrated and holistic approach focused on promoting the innovative use of digital tools to solve social problems in Africa. As such the program will support the development of 130 innovation centers of excellence which will provide a platform to host best practices, private sector linkages and support training programs.

AfDB Centre of Excellence at UoN: The Coding for Employment Centers of Excellence has been launched at UoN and is currently training basic coding skills to 20 UoN students who will thereafter train over 1,800 youth for a period of 6 months in a bid to produce Africa’s next generation of digitally enabled youthful workforce. The training program will be divided into 4 stages of implementation: Basic, intermediate, Advanced and Digital Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship and soft employability skills: Entrepreneurship will be a cross cutting course for all levels of training. Trainees will learn soft employability skills including CV and cover letter writing, networking skills. They will also be given entrepreneurship courses on need identification, how to start your business toolkit, etc…

Upon graduation from the training, graduates may follow different tracks: 1) Intermediate and Advanced ICT training: Those who show good capabilities may advance to the intermediate and advanced trainings. 2) Internships or full time employment: The Coding for Employment program will seek avenues to convene career fairs and speed dating sessions to link the program graduates to start-ups, private and public sector actors seeking to recruit young people. 3) Entrepreneurship: The program will explore avenues to support graduates with an entrepreneurial venture with training and links to incubators and accelerators to grow their ventures from prototype to fully functioning ventures.