President Paul Kagame has called for increased internet connectivity to allow the continent’s largest demographic, the young generation to learn, work and prosper.
President Kagame was speaking at the Generation Unlimited High-Level Meeting convened virtually bringing together Government leaders, business executives and heads of United Nations organizations and multilateral agencies.
Generation Unlimited is an initiative launched in 2018 aiming to transform education, employment and entrepreneurial outcomes for young people around the world.
The virtual high-level summit was aimed at finding solutions to enable children and young people access quality education, digital solutions, distance learning and relevant skilling.
Speaking at the meeting, the President said that with the young generation being the largest in history, it is important to ensure that they are equipped to work, learn and prosper.
“Today’s young generation is the largest in history. We need them to be ready to learn, to work and to prosper,” he said.
To allow the realization of the ambition, he said that Giga Initiative was launched last year with objectives including mapping demand for internet connectivity in schools as well as serve as a platform to make the infrastructure investments needed for universal school connectivity.
On the continent, the initiative is building on existing priorities of the African Union Digital Transformation Strategy and the Smart Africa Secretariat.
Kagame added that the need to quickly connect every student in the world to the internet will not diminish, not post-pandemic.
“The need to act quickly to connect every student in the world to the internet will not diminish, even when the pandemic is overcome,” he said.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that putting resources into digital learning and training for young people will among other things aid in reducing global inequalities.
A recent United Nations Children's Fund report noted that at least 1 in 3 schoolchildren globally was unable to access remote learning when their schools closed, exposing the lack of access to digital technology.
Going by projections, there will be an estimated 3.5 billion children and youth below the age of 25 by 2030, looking to gain the digital, entrepreneurial and job-specific skills.Follow https://twitter.com/ByCollinsMwai