On the sidelines of Mobile World Congress Africa in Kigali, Smart Africa and MTN signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance digital skills in Africa in an effort to develop capacity for Africans to utilise ICTs and be fully empowered participants of an ICT-driven economy and society.
The partnership establishes a digital skills ecosystem between the Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) and MTN Skills Academy to advance digital literacy, digital and financial skills training, and digital competencies. It seeks to unlock socioeconomic development by leveraging the power of technology to empower youth and women, and drive social inclusion for all, particularly differently abled persons.
According to the World Economic Forum some 230 million jobs across the continent will require some level of digital skills by 2030. With a clear focus on equipping African citizens with relevant skills, the partnership covers the development of demand-based skills training and trends, career pathways, occupations, job roles, skills and competencies for Africa’s ICT sector.
Director-General and CEO of Smart Africa, Lacina Koné commented: “We are committed to bridging digital skill gaps across Africa to ensure the inclusive digital development of the continent. We are confident that the MTN Skills Academy will support us in accelerating our mission and nurturing an ecosystem of ICT specialized training that will increase digital proficiency across our member states. This is a testament of our bold and innovative multistakeholder approach”
The Smart Africa Digital Academy is a pan-African dynamic learning ecosystem which aims to improve digital skills qualifications, employability, and meet the emerging talent needs of African citizens. With a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance ensures an all-inclusive digital transformation by building the digital skills of African citizens.
“Through our partnership with Smart Africa, we see the opportunity to accelerate our efforts to drive job creation, productivity and competitiveness through digital skills and technological innovations. This will go a long way in turning our continent from being largely consumers to producers of ICTs,” said MTN Group Chief Sustainability & Corporate Affairs Officer, Nompilo Morafo.
The MTN Skills Academy focuses on digital solutions to make career guidance accessible to all young people; enabling access to free digital and financial skills training; driving work readiness to enhance employment prospects; and creating a public and private sector-wide job hub to improve job placement prospects across the continent.
The partnership is a testament of the commitment of both Smart Africa and MTN to integrate ICT into the continents’ development agenda to reduce poverty, create prosperity and increase productivity on the continent.