Digital Learning Platform Reaches A Million African Youth

By Khalifa Hemed
Published January 16, 2021

The disruptive effect of COVID-19 is forcing people across the world to work, study and relate remotely.A new elearning platform is reported to have reached close to a million youth across Africa in the first year after its launch.

Atingi, the platform by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is created for Africa’s youth to reach their personal potential, is reported to have 100,000 registered users who have accessed vocational education and self-development courses for free over the 12 months of its existence.

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Although atingi is developed for people in all German Development Cooperation partner countries, BMZ has chosen to pilot it in Togo, Niger, Rwanda and Benin as a test case to identify opportunities for pan-African scaling.

BMZ says it has chosen Africa because the continent is recognized as a potential global workforce hub for the rest of the world because of its high youth population.

By 2030, that is just 9 years away, Africa is projected to be home to more than a quarter of the world’s population of under 25s, and 15% of the world’s working population. But to date, the lack of access to high quality education for Africa’s working-age citizens has been a critical inhibitor of the continent’s ability to compete effectively in the international labour market.

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“Digitalisation can help Africa make enormous strides in its development," says Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development. "This new platform offers eLearning opportunities to young people in remote and rural areas. We must harness the full potential of modern technology to create new opportunities for young Africans to enter training, the agricultural sector, medicine or the tech business.”Saying online learning and orientation opportunities are essential to enabling people in Africa to keep pace with the digital transformation beyond their borders, BMZ contends that this ensures they are qualified for the jobs of the future besides ensuring a more integrated knowledge economy that moves Africa closer to realising their economic and personal potential.

While it can often be challenging for local educational institutions to reach people in rural and sparsely populated areas in Africa’s emerging markets geographic and infrastructure barriers can be addressed through online learning offers like atingi that is said to be enabling users to access high-quality, locally-relevant, digital learning materials anytime and anywhere. Recognising the barrier of internet connectivity, atingi is said to be also offering low-tech and offline solutions.

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Young people, women and people in rural regions are the target beneficiaries of the atingi platform. The courses offered in English and French cover a wide range of topics, such as vocational orientation, health, entrepreneurship and agriculture – all of which are aimed at increasing skills and productivity.

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