Middle East & Africa Partnerships

Smart Africa Launches National Digital Academy in Benin To Address Skills Gap

The Smart Africa Digital Academy (SADA), a pan-African dynamic learning ecosystem, has partnered with Benin’s Ministry of Digital Affairs and Digitalisation to launch a national digital academy in the country.

The launch of SADA in Benin follows successes in other countries. Since August 2020, SADA has trained 3,000 policy and decision-makers across 26 countries including Rwanda, Ghana and The Republic of Congo.

Topics studied have included artificial intelligence, digital economy, 5G connectivity, data protection and privacy, rural broadband policies, regulatory and innovative sandboxing environments and epayments.

“SADA is a direct response to digital skills shortage with which Benin and Africa in general are confronted. As one of the most active countries of the Smart Africa alliance, we are extremely pleased to implement SADA in Benin and advance the nation digital skills, in close collaboration with our partners” commented  Lacina Koné, the director general and CEO of Smart Africa, an alliance of 32 African countries.

SADA initiative in Benin will support the country’s digital sector strategy to transform Benin into West Africa’s digital services platform. As part of the SADA Benin framework, and in the same week of the SADA launch, 40 master trainers will be trained in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity and will train other local trainers as part of the extension of this initiative.

AurĂ©lie Adam SoulĂ©, Minister of Digital Affairs and Digitalisation said: “SADA is an instrument, a platform that will allow us to take new initiatives and strengthen the initiatives that have already been taken by the Republic of Benin within the framework of its action program and to open perspectives on other areas of cooperation and capacity building.”

SADA’s aim

SADA aims to improve digital skills qualifications, employability and meet the emerging talent needs of African citizens. The national digital academy will support the identified digital skills priority needs at the national level.

Additional national digital academies will soon be rolled out in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti and Sierra Leone.

SADA is also embarking on two new programmes to provide digital skills for African youth, entrepreneurs and citizens in general, for them to thrive in the global technology ecosystem.

The SADA for youth and entrepreneurs will help increase the digital technology competence, reduce unemployment, and increase the digital entrepreneurship capabilities for youth in Africa; while the SADA Digital Literacy will help all African citizens to be digitally literate.


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