20 May 2019

Africa: Experts Meet in Kigali on How African Youth Can Leverage Digital Age

Photo: New Times
The ongoing 5th PASET Forum will last from 20 May to 22 May in Kigali.

Several experts and educators from across the continent will in the next three days gather in Kigali to discuss how to equip the African youth with the necessary digital skills to compete on the global landscape.

The meeting started today under the banner of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) and has brought together officials from Rwanda, World Bank and other experts from various parts of the world.

By 2050, more than half of the world's young people under the age of 24 will be living and going to school in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2017 UN population report.

It is also the only population where the number of people under the age of 24 is increasing, not decreasing.

"We must put our heads together to develop necessary skills for African youth to fully take advantage of transformative technologies to change the way we teach and learn and develop market-demanded digital skills to unleash the potential of African youth to innovate with technologies to achieve a digital launch," said Eugene Mutimura, Minister of Education in a press release from the ministry.

"PASET Forum is a perfect knowledge sharing platform for conducting a forward thinking discussion to date. As a result, we incubate many regional initiatives. I look forward to meeting more than 20 country representatives including ministers from across Africa," he added.

The PASET Forum is a chance for leaders in sub-Saharan Africa to figure out how to make that moonshot a reality according to officials.

Since it was founded in 2013, PASET has brought together leaders from around the globe to tap into innovative ideas, build programs, and push for funding and collaboration to make educating the world's largest youth population a global priority.

This year's event, "Destination Digital Africa: Preparing our Youth for the Future," will feature PASET's international partners, including representatives from India, China, India and South Korea who, alongside their African colleagues will discuss how to transform delivery of higher education and TVET with technologies and how to develop relevant digital skills.

"The emergence of the Digital Economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution are radically transforming the way the world works. Governments and institutions are rapidly converting their public services to digital platforms and entrepreneurs can now access larger markets and capitalize on skills and services from larger networks," said Jaime Saavedra, Senior Director for Education at the World Bank.

"This transformation is enabling many new jobs and generating a great demand for digital skills. Africa has an enormous opportunity to take advantage of the incredible potential of the digital economy. But to do so, young people in the region must have digital, socioemotional, and soft skills precisely those which cannot be automated," he added.

The forum will harness the energy and enthusiasm of the leading voices in education across Africa to help them reap the benefits of the new economy.

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