The YouthMobile Initiative is a UNESCO’s global strategy launched in 2014 with an aim to engage a critical mass of young people to acquire basic technical skills and confidence to develop, promote, and market that mobile applications (APPs) addressing local issues for sustainable development.
Within the framework of this initiative, UNESCO Abuja Office collaborated with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) of Nigeria to implement a project tagged UNESCO-FCTA YouthMobile Project. This project started its first phase in June 2017, graduating over 400 beneficiaries in March 2018. At the end of the project in April 2019, additional 600 youths were empowered, giving a cumulative number of 1000.
This project has three objectives:
- To empower youth to be independently able to develop APPs that address local issues regarding sustainable development;
- To effectively tackle poverty by building youth entrepreneurial skills in a fashion that translates their ICT training into employment creation;
- To reduce unemployment and youth restiveness in the country through information and communication technology skills.
It has provided a platform for the youth in FCT to acquire mobile application development and entrepreneurial skills for directly addressing the beneficiaries' personal challenges or the problems their local communities are facing.
In addition, several related activities, such as the African Code Week and Girls in ICTs, are taking place to complement the project. All these activities are designed to provide a set of unique UNESCO value-added actions in order to create a self-sustaining, dynamic environment and deliver a wide array of skills, including but not limited to coding skills, computational thinking, entrepreneurial leadership, and design thinking.
Other partners contributing to this project include Cisco Technology, Samsung Nigeria, and Microsoft Nigeria.
The project empowers its beneficiaries with the capacity to develop mobile phone applications, promoting bottom-up approaches to innovation and youth involvement for sustainable development.