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Nokia partners UNICEF to strengthen digital skill development in Senegal

By , ITWeb
Africa , 18 Jan 2023

Nokia has announced a new collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide a dedicated digital education and coding program to underserved areas of Senegal.

Announcing the partnership, Nokia said the scope of the work includes specific sessions on digital skills, as well as upgrading equipment and connectivity.

The main objective of the alliance is to improve digital education and training in schools, with the aim to assist 100 teachers and over 10 000 middle school students.

Nokia said this forms part of its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. The strategy, announced in October 2022, is based on five strategic focus areas including environment, industrial digitalisation, security & privacy, bridging the digital divide, and responsible business.

Nicole Robertson, Vice President, ESG at Nokia, said: “Connectivity, when coupled with digital skills, creates greater opportunity for employment, access to education and healthcare and participation in the digital economy.”

Silvia Danailov, UNICEF Representative in Senegal, added: “UNICEF works to ensure that no child or young person is left behind in the digital revolution. No matter who they are, where they live, or where they come from, all children should benefit from the innovations that digital technologies bring to education – inside the classroom or at home. This catalytic partnership with Nokia is a major step in furthering quality education through innovative technology for children in Senegal.”

In June 2022 global technology firm Thales and international digital technology association Polaris Asso, together with the French embassy in Senegal and UN Women, together launched a programme to help Senegalese women pursue digital careers.

ITWeb Africa reported on a statement released by the partners which said the French development agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) estimates that 60% of Africans are now under 24 and 35% of the world’s young people will be in Africa by 2035.

The statement added that according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), nearly 20 million jobs will need to be created each year in Africa to accommodate these new workers, instead of the 10 million currently being created each year.

Studies show that in Senegal, young women are the most affected by a lack of access to employment. 

A recent study by the International Labour Organisation showed that internet access and training in ICT allow local women to start businesses, sell their products, find better-paying jobs and access education, health and financial services. 

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