Zain South Sudan and UNESCO, in partnership with The Dev School and the College of Computer Science and Information, University of Juba, launched a YouthMobile Applications Development Initiative in South Sudan.
The launch took place at the college of Computer Science, University of Juba, started the process of training 40 young South Sudanese on how to develop mobile applications based on the App Inventor curriculum from the globally renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA). The 2-week training is funded by UNESCO and supported by Zain, with 20 Android Mobile phones for practical sessions.
This unique initiative aiming at engaging young women and young men to develop mobile apps for sustainable development forms part of the global UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative and coincides with the celebration of the International Youth Day in South Sudan, which is celebrated globally on 12th August every year and established by the United Nations as a means of raising awareness on issues affecting young people around the world.
The YouthMobile Initiative contributes towards the building of inclusive knowledge societies by enhancing information and communication technologies (ICTs) skills and open solutions to empower youth to resolve identified local issues of sustainable development, especially those related to poverty reduction, climate change and disproportionate youth unemployment through the use of smart mobile applications. It is expected that the initiative will lead to the empowerment of young people worldwide, particularly young women, with high-level skills and confidence to develop and promote locally relevant mobile applications contributing towards self-generated, viable employment opportunities in the mobile/ICT industry.
Salah Khaled, UNESCO Representative in South Sudan commenting on the positive impact of this initiative is expected to have on the youth stated, “Given the transformative effect of ICT and its potential to propel development and create knowledge based economies, investing in the youth of South Sudan with mobile application development skills is literally placing wealth into their hands.”
The two weeks training workshop will be conducted by The Dev School of Kenya which is run by young Kenyans. The Kenyan NGO has successfully run several training sessions for young people in Kenya, providing them with employment opportunities in the growing ICT industry in Kenya or networking opportunities such as the EuroHack Trip, an exchange program between startups in Africa and those in Europe.
To achieve the overall objective of this initiative, Zain South Sudan in partnership with UNESCO and The Dev School, will organize competitions to award the best applications developed and extensively highlight the best applications providing the young South Sudanese developers with significant exposure and networking opportunities ultimately contributing to their employability. At a time when the country is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, empowering the youth to be innovative, will expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new humanism.
Zain South Sudan CEO Basel Manasrah reiterating the company’s commitment to support this initiative stated that, “We are proud to be part of this initiative with UNESCO and The Dev School to contribute to the development of the Youth in South Sudan. It is one of Zain South Sudan’s core values to invest in the communities in which we operate, and investing in youth is investing in the future of the country.”
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