Mobile apps training targets East African youths

Mobile apps training targets East African youths

The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) last week organized a egional mobile apps development training workshop for 44 youth from East African countries including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The regional workshop is part of UNESCO’s continued efforts to promote the application of ICTs to enhance the quality of education and to develop knowledge based societies.

The workshop was organized by eMobilis Mobile Technology Institute, a training institution founded in 2009 which is the first of its kind in Sub Saharan Africa. It focuses on training individuals on Mobile Software Development, as well as Network Infrastructure Management and has trained over 2,500 students to date.

Their programs range from mobile and entrepreneurship trainings at mlab East Africa, Developer Hackathons and Competitions, Boot Camps conducted at Kibera Resource Center, JKUAT and University of Nairobi to Cisco Academy Courses.

Core courses are designed to enable young people to benefit from the global mobile revolution and include software development skills in Android, Windows Phone, HTML5, databases and USSD courses offered at their Westlands facility to students from across Kenya and from as far away as Zambia and Rwanda.

Its mission is to tap local talent and to offer partial scholarships to allow skills based technology training which empowers youth and facilitates the creation of innovative mobile solutions for African problems. The workshop was sponsored by KNATCOM and the young people from across east Africa were hosted for the week long workshop at AICAD which offered boarding facilities.

The training is part of UNESCO’s YouthMobile Initiative whose goal is to empower young people to make use of technology and also to create their own applications.  The regional capacity building event was officially opened by Dr Evangeline Njoka, Secretary General of KNATCOM.

“We believe that you can make a great impact in the world of technology as far as mobile apps are concerned. Kenya recognizes the transformative power of information and knowledge as indispensable tools in the fight against poverty and other social and economic ills and it is in partnership with UNESCO that we can advance our knowledge-based society agenda. KNATCOM is very grateful to UNESCO for having funded this capacity building program through the UNESCO participation program” added Dr Njoka.

Christine Maingi, Information and Communication Director at KNATCOM expressed concern over the low numbers of women taking up this free programme. “We also need to encourage women who are part of the initiative to take up the opportunity as well. It is also important and desirable that we enhance our own local mobile apps development ability with ideas from across the board.”

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