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27.08.2014 - Communication & Information Sector

UNESCO YouthMobile partners with the Developer School of Kenya to train mobile apps makers

Youth Training on Mobile App Development in Nairobi, Kenya - CC BY SA

UNESCO’s YouthMobile Initiative recently concluded the 3rd round of workshops in Nairobi, Kenya, for 40 young people on mobile app development. The training is part of a seven-round series of workshops hosted in partnership with the Dev School of Kenya.

A series of intensive training workshops on mobile application development for youth for sustainable development in Kenya has been ongoing over the summer in Nairobi, Kenya.

From 17 July 2014, 40 young people were provided with mobile app development training. The workshops were held within the framework of the new and innovative UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative in partnership with the Dev School and Kenya National Commission for UNESCO.

The UNESCO Eastern Africa Office provided extensive assistance to the training initiatives.

The YouthMobile Initiative aims to empower youth with the high-level skills and confidence to create mobile apps that are locally-relevant and contribute to the reduction of chronic youth unemployment.

The global objective is to engage at least 25,000 young people and sell at least 5,000 mobile apps by 2017.

At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, encouraging innovation and creativity of youth of the world will be vital in effectively addressing these challenges. 

The Nairobi workshop was held in partnership with the Dev School, a start-up from Kenya with aspirations to introduce coding to youth across the nation.

Founded in 2013 by a young Kenyan Ms Martha Njeri Chelimo, the Dev School has now successfully run two rounds of training in Nairobi. In these workshops, students are able to extensively study programming languages, mobile platforms, web application frameworks, front end development, writing and entrepreneurship.

The 40 young people who participated in this summer’s workshop were taught mobile app development from the MIT App Inventor curriculum. The students were guided by peer trainers in building Android applications and focused on creating apps that would solve specific local problems.

Linus Onyango, Chairperson at the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Youth Forum, said: “The Mobile Application Training has been the most exciting and innovative undertaking related to ICT in which the UNESCO Youth forum Kenya has participated. The mobile Application training has been on for six weeks now and the attendance has been amazing, the class is always full and the trainers have been great in giving the learners an introduction to mobile apps development. I would like to thank UNESCO’s Regional Office, the Dev School, the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO and the Kenyan youth for making Nairobi YouthMobile a success.”

Since the Dev School’s inception, the number of students participating in workshops has been steadily increasing. Graduating students have had great success in finding employment within the growing IT industry in Kenya.

Anita, a member of the Social Sciences Committee at the UNESCO Youth Forum Kenya, marvels, “I have never known that tech can be so much fun. Doing the YouthMobile training has made me so eager to complete my final project!”

A hackathon has been scheduled for September, where students will be required to fully develop their final mobile applications for presentation. In the hackathon, the students will build Android applications in the following areas: education, unemployment, culture, water and sustainable development.

To find out more about the UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative, follow us on Twitter @YouthMobile_ or visit our website: www.youthmobile.org

Openly-licensed photos from the Workshop will be available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/125945777@N02/

UNESCO is organizing similar YouthMobile workshops in South Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon and Jordan.

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