African Development Bank has partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft and Facebook to launch the Coding for Employment Program in the ongoing African Innovation Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. The aim is to train youths who are eager to have knowledge in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The new program prepares Africa’s youth for tomorrow’s jobs and unleashes the next generation of young digital innovators from the continent. Coding for Employment will create over 9 million jobs and reach over 32 million youth and women across Africa.

According to Sherry Dzinoreva, Head of Policy Program at Facebook, this program seeks to cultivate the next generation of innovators and empower young women to lead the continent’s digital revolution.

By 2025, the Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative will equip 50 million youth with employable skills and create 25 million jobs in agriculture, information communications and technology and other key industries across Africa. Over the last 15 years, the African Development Bank has invested US $1.64 billion in programs to prepare youth for careers in science, technology and innovation.

Digital innovations have the power to solve the continent’s development challenges and are generating new job opportunities. The youth population is rapidly growing and by 2050, is expected to double to over 830 million. Yet, the digital divide in Africa persists and critical skills gap pose serious challenges to youth securing quality and decent work in a rapidly changing workforce.

In a statement by Mamadou Biteye, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Managing Director for Africa “Coding for Employment accelerates investments in Africa’s most valuable resource – its young women and men. That’s why The Rockefeller Foundation is thrilled to join forces with the African Development Bank to help every young African reach their full potential. Our partnership with the African Development Bank will establish 130 Centers of Excellence across Africa to help bridge the gap between the digital hiring news of employers and the skills of Africa’s youth.