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Ericsson Backs Smart Africa Digital Academy for Digital Transformation

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Smart Africa Digital Academy

Ericsson has partnered with the Smart Africa Secretariat to promote digital transformation across Africa. The tech firm will use the Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA) to achieve this goal.

The collaboration aims to enhance the digital skills of an initial target group of senior officials from ministries and regulatory authorities in charge of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) by availing the Ericsson Educate program. The program is expected to later extend to the youth, students, and professionals, particularly educators.

With SADA being an initiative of the Smart Africa Alliance, an alliance spanning 32 African countries that aim to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development in Africa, the collaboration will have a far-reaching impact across the continent.

It will equip the public administrations of each member state with the latest information to enhance their knowledge and competencies around emerging digital technologies, which will support them in establishing impactful digital skill development roadmaps and strategies.

The Ericsson Educate program has been curated and customized to support SADA’s target audience’s ongoing digital skills development.

With rich content on 21st-century technologies such as 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT), Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML), the Ericsson Educate program will provide in addition to the digital skills portal developed by Ericsson, various series of live online workshops led by technology experts from Ericsson.

The Ericsson Educate program aims to empower the continent’s policymakers to develop harmonized digital transformation frameworks that will ensure a prosperous future for Africa in the digital age.

Lacina Koné, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Smart Africa, commented: “We are committed to bridging digital skill gaps across Africa to ensure the inclusive digital development of the continent.

“We are confident that the Ericsson Educate program will support us in accelerating our mission and nurturing an ecosystem of ICT specialized training that will increase digital proficiency across our member states.

“Through the program, we look forward to empowering policy and decision-makers with adequate knowledge of the latest digital technologies to make informed decisions that propel the continent in the digital era.”

Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, and Head of Strategy at Ericsson, says, “We strongly believe that mobile technologies have the potential to level the global playing field and contribute to the long-term and sustainable economic development of Africa.

“Collaborating with SADA to enhance the digital competencies of policy and decision-makers in each member state, we aspire to empower the development of a well-planned ICT policy and regulatory environment that increases Africa’s competitiveness in the global economy.”

Ericsson has been a private sector member of the Smart Africa Alliance since 2016, actively contributing to key projects aimed at the digital development of the continent. Through this latest collaboration with SADA, Ericsson reaffirms its commitment to Africa’s digital inclusion and adoption to drive digital transformation and education across the continent.

Education

Adeniran Praises Makinde for Allocating 18.78% of 2023 Budget to Education

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Seyi Makinde

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, has been applauded by the Chairman of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (Oyo SUBEB), Mr Nureni Aderemi Adeniran, for allocating more funds to education in the 2023 budget.

Speaking recently on a live programme on the Oyo State Broadcasting Corporation (BCOS) in Ibadan, the state capital, the educationist said this was commendable.

According to him, education has the second largest allocation in the proposed 2023 appropriation bill presented to the Oyo State House of Assembly by Mr Makinde.

He said with a budget of N58.2 billion, the government has recorded an unprecedented affection for education.

Mr Adeniran said Governor Makinde had maintained an unbroken record of allocating huge funds for the overhaul of the sector, especially the basic education sub-sector he supervises.

“Governor Makinde’s record of allocating funds for education conforms to UNESCO standards of 15-20 per cent of the budget. In fact, this time, education is 18.78 per cent of the total budget proposal,” he said.

Speaking further, the Oyo SUBEB chief lauded the current administration for consistently maintaining an 18 per cent to 22 per cent budgetary allocation.

He insisted that this has helped the state in regular payment of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) counterpart funding and received matching grants, “enabling us to execute numerous projects in the education sector.”

“Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board has so far completed over 56 model schools and constructed and renovated over 700 classroom blocks across Oyo State, among other projects,” he affirmed.

He, therefore, appealed to residents of the state to re-elect Governor Makinde for a second term, saying his efforts to make Oyo better could be further actualised with continuity.

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Education

GOMYCODE Opens New Flagship Hackerspace in Lagos

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GoMyCode

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Africa’s leading edtech platform, GOMYCODE Nigeria, has opened a bigger office space in Lagos at 230 Herbert Macaulay, Alagomeji-Yaba.

Comprising 5 floors, the new GOMYCODE hackerspace has a capacity five times larger than the old one, about 600 students compared with the 120 students the previous hackerspace accommodated.

In a statement, the firm disclosed that the new space is remarkable, with unique colours that stand out from the other buildings around it and can accommodate even more students in a more comfortable environment where they can learn.

GOMYCODE is pushing the limits on students’ experience to the next level with 3 floors of classrooms, each dedicated to teaching. The classrooms are equipped with fibre optics and comfortable equipment for the students’ success.

The new hackerspace has a rest and relaxation room for students to balance learning and leisure time or simply to continue working on their projects. There is also ample parking space in a dedicated garage for students that ensures easier accessibility to the facility.

The second floor of the hackerspace will be occupied by the educational advisors who now have even more facilities to welcome, inform, guide and support the current and future students.

Lastly, a large conference room, with enough seating for 200 people, allows guests to gather for talks and conferences, giving the setting an even greater range.

“This move signals our intentions for and deep commitment to the Nigerian market. Whilst we provide training online through what we call our online ‘hackerspace’, we know from research and our own experience that students prefer in-person classes and what we do is to ensure that these classes take place in the best possible spaces”, says Babatunde Olaifa, General Manager, GOMYCODE Nigeria.

The move from a 3-room training space to a 5-storey centre in the heart of Yaba underscores our commitment to providing quality, relevant and affordable digital skills education to anyone in Nigeria looking to future-proof their careers. This is just the beginning. We are expanding rapidly, and in a few months, we will open hackerspaces in multiple locations in Lagos and Abuja”, adds Olaifa.

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Education

Organisations Donate to Wesley School of Hearing Impaired

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Wesley School of Hearing Impaired

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Some educational materials have been donated to Wesley School of Hearing Impaired, Surulere, Lagos, and Whanyinna Nursery and Primary School, Makoko, Lagos.

The items were given by GE Gas Power in collaboration with United Way Greater Nigeria (UWGN) through the Back to School drive to foster student development.

About 150 schoolchildren from the two schools received the learning essentials to encourage reading culture among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“This collaboration with GE to enhance the quality of education as well as promote literacy and reading culture among children in beneficiary schools is important in our efforts to improve lives by mobilising the caring power of communities.

“It is also in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4, which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all while supporting children in low-income and potentially disadvantaged communities,” the Executive Director of United Way Greater Nigeria, Mrs Deola Durodola, said.

Also speaking, the Communications Director, GE Africa & Diversity Leader, GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East and Africa, Anne Ezeh, said, “GE Gas Power is pleased to collaborate with United Way Greater Nigeria to help students access education, in line with our overall commitment to education and skills development in the communities we live and work in. We recognize that supporting children to access quality education prepares them to become productive citizens in the future.”

Wesley Schools for The Hearing Impaired was founded in 1962 and currently hosts students with hearing impairments and special needs to empower them to achieve their full potential.

Whanyinna Children Foundation is a charity that uses education to combat child labour, illiteracy, malnutrition, crime, and health.

More than 260 children living in slums have been provided with tuition-free elementary education through the organisation.

The principals of both schools expressed their gratitude for the donation as it would ease the financial burden of parents and reduce student absenteeism.

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