» YouthMobile in Senegal: UNESCO Dakar Commits to Promoting Young Girls in the Mobile App Development Sector
15.04.2016 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

YouthMobile in Senegal: UNESCO Dakar Commits to Promoting Young Girls in the Mobile App Development Sector

“Since 2012, our ambition to encourage young girls and women in the field of information and communication technologies has produced very successful results. They include: the implementation of the project “Gender in ICTs” to reduce the gender digital divide, the commitment and heightened motivation of girls to pursue careers in the ICTs sector, the creation of mobile applications by and for women to solve socio-economic challenges, and the integration of gender issues into strategies, policies, programs, projects and budgets of the ICT sector” highlighted Madame Bitilokho Ndiaye, coordinator of the gender unit at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Senegal, during the opening ceremony of the activities planned for the month of April between UNESCO, the Ministry, Sonatel, and Googlein the framework of the promotion of young girls in ICTs and the UNESCO’ YouthMobile Initiative.

These concrete results granted the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Senegal the GEM TECH award in 2015, jointly awarded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UN Women, the UN agency responsible for the promotion of women. The award, also won by UNESCO in 2014 for its “Women in African History: An E-Learning Platform” project, aims to showcase exemplary initiatives that use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to transform women’s lives.

To reinforce cooperation between the Ministry and UNESCO, the Regional Office of UNESCO in Dakar, committed to strengthening the capacity of young girls in ICTs through its YouthMobile Initiative, has jointly organized training courses for young girls and women in E-commerce and the development of mobile applications throughout the month of April. The trainings will take place at UNESCO, with a celebration of International Girls in ICTs day on April 28th. As part of the official celebration and the YouthMobile initiative, a round table between UNESCO, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Senegal, Sonatel and Google about the importance of the development of mobile applications by young people and women to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals will occur, as well as a panel on women's leadership in the ICT sector.

The YouthMobile initiative, created in 2014 by UNESCO, offers introductory courses in computer programming (learning-to-code) and problem solving (coding-to-learn). The initiative targets young boys and girls to acquire basic technical skills and the necessary confidence for the development, promotion and marketing of mobile applications that address local sustainability issues. BY 2017, the initiative’s overall objective is to allow at least 25,000 young people to develop the skills of the 21st century to fully participate in addressing the challenges of sustainable development in their communities. The initiative introduces young people to entrepreneurship and to create viable employment opportunities in the mobile phone industry and ICT Sector.

“UNESCO places a strong emphasis on its partnership with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the importance of this multistakeholder approach during this month long celebration, while underlining the importance of cooperation with the private sector, represented by Sonatel and Google, in the activities planned for the International Girls in ICT day” says Ms. Sasha Rubel Diamanka, Regional Advisor for Communication and Information in the Regional Office of UNESCO in Dakar. “UNESCO is committed to continuing this fruitful cooperation with its partners to achieve the sustainable development goals through enabling young girls to develop the needed skills and confidence to develop, promote and sell mobile applications that solve local problems and create employment”.

Among the activities planned for the month of April, there will also be open days in large companies and ICT innovation centers, mobile development initiatives, trainings in coding, and JIGGEN CI TIC caravans throughout the country, which will bring together women leaders in the public and private technology sector with the aim of educating young girls and advocating for increased ICT production and use to further encourage women to pursue studies and careers in technology and innovation.

To learn more about the Youthmobile initiative and the International Girls in ICTs day in Senegal, consults these web pages:

http://en.unesco.org/youthmobile

http://www.mcten.gouv.sn/




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