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Digital Inclusion

Smart Africa brings digital skills academy to Côte d'Ivoire

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Smart Africa's capacity building arm – the Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) – has launched a digital skills development initiative in Côte d'Ivoire, continuing its plans to provide digital skills across Africa.

The Côte d'Ivoire initiative was launched in partnership with the country's Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and will help nurture the West African nation's nascent digital sector through the provision of essential skills.

"There's increasing recognition among nations of the role of digital technologies in transforming the socio-economic situation and the determination to adopt them is palpable," Lacina Koné, Smart Africa's director general and CEO, said at the launch event.

"Through initiatives like SADA, the Smart Africa Alliance is committed to supporting national efforts to close the digital skills gap. We are pleased to bring SADA to life in Côte d'Ivoire, an important country of the alliance," he explained.

As a pan-African learning ecosystem, SADA aims to improve digital skills qualifications and employability, as well as meet the emerging talent needs of African citizens.

The launch of SADA in Côte d'Ivoire follows launches in Benin, Rwanda, Ghana and The Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville). There are also plans for additional academies to be rolled out soon in Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The launch of SADA in Côte d'Ivoire includes the implementation of various capacity-building programs about big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), training of teachers, executive training and advanced ICT training.

The West African country is also set to host the first cybersecurity innovation centers for youth. Currently, Côte d'Ivoire is Smart Africa's cybersecurity flagship.

Upskilling Africa

SADA aims to provide digital skills for African youths and entrepreneurs, with a goal to increase digital technology competence, reduce unemployment and foster the digital entrepreneurship capabilities of youth in Africa. This program intends to impact 500 youth by the end of the year.

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Since its start of operation in August 2020, SADA has trained over 2,000 policy and decision makers across 26 countries.

Digital transformation topics include: artificial intelligence use cases, 5G connectivity, data protection and privacy, rural broadband policies, security technologies, data centers and cloud, and ePayments. The objective is to reach over 22,000 trained beneficiaries by 2023.

Smart Africa was launched in 2013 by seven African heads of state and now has 32 member countries, representing over 815 million people and over 40 private sector members committed to the advancement of Africa's digital agenda.

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*Top image is of Lacina Koné, Smart Africa's director general and CEO, speaking at the Smart Africa Digital Academy launch event Côte d'Ivoire. (Source: Smart Africa).

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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