1200 youth to benefit from mobile application development training


One thousand two hundred South Sudanese youth are set to be equipped with mobile applications skills from a two-year programme, whose first beneficiaries have just finished their two week training.

One thousand two hundred South Sudanese youth are set to be equipped with mobile applications skills from a two-year programme, whose first beneficiaries have just finished their two week training.

The South Sudanese youth will be trained on how to develop mobile applications based on the App Inventor curriculum from the globally renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA). Zain South Sudan will award the best mobile application developed.


Today, fourty three of the youth will graduate from a two-week training that has been taking place at the University of Juba. As a result, they have developed thematic Android mobile applications on literacy, peace, agriculture, health, and unemployment, among others.


According to Ms. Lydiah Gachungi of UNESCO, the youth have demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to joining the coveted world of innovation and wealth creation, reporting to their classes as early as 7 a.m. daily, including on weekends. The training was sponsored by UNESCO and Zain South Sudan, in partnership with The Dev School of Kenya, and the College of Computer Science and Information, University of Juba.  


“I thank UNESCO and Zain for supporting this training on mobile applications development to improve our programming skills and enable us compete in the national job market and with the rest of the world” says Araba Victoria, one of the young South Sudanese women who attended the training. 


Another beneficiary of the programme, Boboya Nicholas Duesuk, had this to say:


“All along, we have been longing for a training that exposes us young South Sudanese to what is happening in the changing world and this has opened a great opportunity for me to become more relevant in the job market”.


The training was aimed at empowering the young people with high-level skills and confidence to develop and promote locally relevant mobile applications. This will help contribute to self-generated and viable employment opportunities in the mobile/ICT industry.


“These two weeks will focus on developing thematic Android applications on literacy, peace and unemployment, and will be followed by intermediate then advanced levels,” said Martha Chumo, director of The Dev School at the start of the training. She urged UNESCO and ZAIN to collaborate further and develop an innovation hub in South Sudan for the youth, to further their skills and incubate the applications developed during the training.


The youth mobile applications development capacity building comes at a time when the prolonged conflict has left many young people highly fragmented and lacking access to employment opportunities, making them vulnerable to manipulation by politicians.


“By innovatively utilising the potential that is in a mobile phone, the young people can create business and also acquire skills that give them an edge in the IT jobs in the local, national or international market”, said Salah Khaled, UNESCO’s country representative.


He called on South Sudan development partners to create synergy between this initiative and other ongoing interventions, with a view to supporting the youth in the country find an economic bearing. Zain South Sudan provided 20 Android Mobile phones with 2GB on each phone in support of the two weeks training.


“In a country like South Sudan, where educational and vocational institutions are still in the early stages of establishment, a programme such as the YouthMobile Initiative is instrumental in helping develop the next generation of contributors to the national economy” said Robbert West, Zain South Sudan Chief Commercial Officer.


Speaking during the launch of the programme, Dr. Lado Kenyi the Dean of the Computer Science College at the University of Juba said the University will institutionalise the training within its curriculum. This will ensure that students graduating from the course are awarded with certificates that can be recognized in the job market.


After the successful training, Zain South Sudan in partnership with UNESCO Mobile App Competition ‘GMR App Challenge’ and The Dev School, will organize competitions to award the best applications developed.

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