ESSA News Round-up

Each week we highlight stories we feel are interesting in the education space.
By Peter Burdin

Frank Odwesso Photo: Frank Odwesso/Multi Media University, Nairobi

African Union Goes Digital To Tackle Youth Unemployment

Digital skills are now recognised as basic skills alongside literacy and numeracy”

That’s the view of the African Union’s Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor.

Speaking at Chatham House in London Professor Agbor said:

“The digital economy presents an opportunity for tackling the youth employment challenge with a strong focus on fostering youth-led digital entrepreneurship.

“Digital skills are the starting point to making Africa become competitive, to grow and to prosper”, she added.

To promote this new initiative she announced that the African Union is to set up a Pan African Virtual E-University as well as a cluster for vocational training.

 The Pan African Virtual University is designed to provide greater access to education through distance learning and e-learning. It’s Headquarters will be in Cameroon where the University of Yaounde will research governance and humanities. The E-University  will link up research into topics relevant to Africa’s future like health, agriculture and governance.

A  Centre of Excellence on water, energy and climate change will be set up at the University of Tlemcen in Algeria, the University of Ibadan in Nigeria will research into health and agriculture, while South Africa will provide new research into space technology, and Kenyatta University in Kenya science and technology.

Professor Agbor said: “African governments need to create innovation and entrepreneurial skills and strengthen Higher Education if they are to promote employment. Education is the key, it’s the answer

Click here for more details  Pan African Virtual University 

Gambia Launches Roadmap To Create Jobs For Youth

After a national consultation between business leaders, training schools and young people the Gambian government has launched a five-year plan to create a national job creation programme.

The Youth and Trade Roadmap sets out to tackle the root causes of youth unemployment and competitive market constraints which lead to young people migrating out of the country.

The Roadmap is part of Gambia’s National Development Plan which sees youth employment and empowerment as a top priority and aims to help young people move from being job seekers to job creators through trade and entrepreneurship.

At present 35% of Gambian companies report poor levels of skills among young graduates, with a high skills gap among young people training in technical and vocational occupations.

The Roadmap will concentrate on boosting technical and vocational training institutions, and equipping young people with the skills needed to venture into self-employment through entrepreneurial, IT  and mentoring programmes.

The Project is supported by the WTO’s International Trade Centre and part-financed by the European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund For Africa which seeks to improve living conditions in Africa.

For further  details visit