Smart Africa launches digital academy in Benin

By : Samira Njoya

Date : lundi, 12 septembre 2022 13:11

In Africa, with the acceleration of digital transformation, there is currently a shortage of digital skills. The situation is concerning for various governments, which are stepping up efforts to create digital skill pools and reduce unemployment at the same time.  

The Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) recently launched a national digital academy to promote digital skills in Benin.  The founding memorandum of understanding was signed, last Thursday (September 8), by Lacina Koné (photo, right), CEO of Smart Africa, and Aurelie Adam Soule Zoumarou (photo, left), Beninese Minister of Digital Economy. 

According to Lacina Koné, “SADA is a direct solution to the digital skill shortage facing Benin, in particular, and Africa as a whole. SADA Benin will support [authorities’] agenda that aims to place digital skills at the core of Africa’s current and future socioeconomic development.”

In the framework of the partnership agreement between Bening and the Smart Africa alliance, forty cybersecurity and artificial intelligence instructors are already being trained. Once their training is completed, those instructors will train and pass on their skills to other instructors to build a pool of qualified instructors. The SADA also plans to offer advanced ICT courses to managers and teachers.

Thanks to the reforms and flagship projects in the Beninese government's strategic plan, the country jumped from the 177th spot in the UN e-Government Development Index in 2016 to the 157th spot in 2020. 

The SADA Benin initiative will therefore be a key support to the country’s digital transformation plan, which aims to transform Benin into a digital services hub in West Africa. 

For Minister  Aurelie Adam Soule Zoumarou, the alliance will "consolidate the efforts already undertaken by the Republic of Benin in the framework of its national development program and provide new cooperation opportunities.”

SADA Benin is the fourth national academy launched by Smart Africa since January 2022. The first three were in Congo, Rwanda, and Ghana. The alliance plans to launch similar academies in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, and Sierra Leone in the coming months.

Since it began operations in August 2020, focusing on the Capacity Building for Decision Makers (CBDM) module, SADA has trained approximately 3,000 decision and policymakers across 26 countries on topics related to digital transformation and hot emerging technologies. Its goal is to train more than 22,000 people in partner countries, by 2023.

Samira Njoya


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