Digital literacy, Ethiopia relies on Microsoft

Microsoft and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education have signed an agreement for the digital literacy of young people. The initiative aims to improve the presence of ICT within the African country’s school system, helping young people to acquire transferable skills that they can also apply in the world of work.

Digital literacy

The agreement signed by Microsoft and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education is called the Education Transformation Agreement. A long-term project which aims to transform the way in which ICT skills are present within the Ethiopian education system. The American IT giant will provide technological equipment and its vast industry know-how to improve the digital literacy of young people.

The project forms part of an extensive programme of social responsibility in which Microsoft has chosen to engage in training in various African countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Botswana and Namibia. The project has 4 aims:

  • to promote digital inclusion
  • to stimulate creativity and innovation
  • to develop the strategic skills of the new millennium
  • to improve the skills of teachers

The social impact

In addition to the educational value of the Education Transformation Agreement, it also conveys the message that the “long-term” planning of youth unemployment is a strategic choice. Every year, in fact, approximately 10-12 million young Africans try to enter the world of work. Many of them, however, don’t have the necessary technology skills and miss out on many employment opportunities. It is estimated that in 54% of cases the skills of aspiring workers do not meet the requirements of businesses.

Taking action to improve digital literacy, therefore, means providing millions of Africans with a key to professional, and therefore, economic growth.

An aspect which was also emphasized by Kaba Urgessa, Ethiopian Minister for Higher Education, who stated: “Our economic competitiveness depends on how schools and universities use ICT to prepare students for modern jobs”.