» UNESCO and Zain launches YouthMobile in South Sudan
08.08.2014 - Communication & Information Sector

UNESCO and Zain launches YouthMobile in South Sudan

UNESCO is partnering with Zain, the Dev School of Kenya, and the College of Computer Science and Information (University of Juba) to launch a YouthMobile Applications Development Initiative in South Sudan. Held within the framework of the new and innovative UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative, the two-week training workshop, which is funded by UNESCO with technical support from Zain South Sudan, will take place from 12 August 2014 to train 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).

At a time when South Sudan 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 outlook to address local needs.

The YouthMobile Initiative aims to address the challenge of youth unemployment and economic stagnation in South Sudan by conducting comprehensive workshops in order to enhance ICT skill-levels among local youth. It is UNESCO’s hope that these workshops will result in sustainable job creation and innovative approaches in solving locally-relevant issues. 

“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” says  Salah Khaled, UNESCO Representative in South Sudan.

The UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative aims to directly engage young people—with particular attention to young women—to acquire the high-level skills and confidence to develop, promote, and sell mobile applications. By 2017, UNESCO is seeking to train over 25,000 young people to release at least 5,000 mobile applications globally especially in areas of sustainable development.

The YouthMobile workshop in Juba coincides with the celebration of International Youth Day in South Sudan, which is celebrated globally on 12 August each year and was established by the United Nations in 1999 as a means of raising awareness of issues affecting young people around the world.

The two-week training workshop will be conducted by The Dev School, a Kenyan NGO that has successfully run similar training sessions for young people in Kenya.

Ms.  Martha Chumo, Director of The Dev School was one of the distinguished delegates in the YouthMobile Experts Meeting held at UNESCO Headquarters in March 2014. The meeting enabled world-leading training providers of mobile applications development for young people to share best practices with each other as well as design a strategy to reach a critical mass of young people like those in South Sudan.

The training workshop will take place at the College of Computer Science and Information, University of Juba, who are supporting this initiative with the provision of 40 computers to be used for the practical sessions.

Zain South Sudan, a mobile telecommunications provider, will offer 20 Android mobile phones with prepaid data access as well as raising awareness of this initiative. This partnership is pivotal to having the workshop succeed and be replicated to ensure more youth in South Sudan are equipped with mobile application development skills.

To further achieve the overall objective of the YouthMobile Initiative, Zain and The Dev School will also organize competitions to extensively highlight the best mobile apps in the region, providing the young South Sudanese developers with significant exposure to networking opportunities, ultimately contributing to their employability.

“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,” pointed out Zain South Sudan CEO Basel Manasrah. “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.”

To find out more about the Workshop, follow us on Twitter with #JubaYouthMobile.

Openly-licensed photos from the Workshop will be available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/125945777@N02/

To find out more about the UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative, follow us on Twitter @YouthMobile_ or visit our website: www.youthmobile.org

UNESCO is organizing similar YouthMobile workshops in Kenya, Nigeria and Lebanon.


Lydia Gachungi
Tel : +211 911 066002/922066002
Email : l.gachungi(at)unesco.org

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