African Development Bank has signed a grant agreement with Rwanda to support the Rwanda Coding Academy, set up to develop top technology talent to drive a booming, innovation-driven digital economy.
The grant funding agreement of $150,000 from the Rockefeller Trust Fund which the Bank administers was signed on November 5 between Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation and the African Development Bank’s Eastern Region office.
“The grant will be directed to the implementation of activities, including acquisition of computers and furniture equipment for an ultra-modern innovation center of excellence, internet connectivity, teacher training and organization of job career orientation events,” AfDB said in a statement on Thursday.
The grant will also be used to finance on-job training for teachers and equipping the school with the necessary tools to facilitate the learning experience of students, the bank said.
The Rwanda Coding Academy was established in 2018 as a proof-of-concept model school for developing ICT and other 21st century skills for high school level students who want to pursue a career in coding and computer science.
The Academy now in its first intake preps, selects high performing students and trains them in advanced software programing and cyber security skills to facilitate their emergence as world-class programmers.
Upon completion of three years of training, students are awarded A- level certificate before being dispatched in different ICT organizations for employment.
Rwanda’s Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire welcomed the support saying the Academy is part of the country’s broader vision to grow a local pool of highly talented Pan-African workforce in science, technology and innovation.
With such funding she said it will add to the Academy’s learning model needs that requires robust digital infrastructure and a dynamic teaching approach from the instructors.
Nnenna Nwabufo, Acting Director General for the AfDB Eastern Region said this collaboration goes into the objectives of empowering African youth with demand-driven skills and providing them with opportunities to be part of the ICT ecosystem as early as possible.
“This will enable them to claim their space in the digital sector and be equal drivers of innovative ideas that are shaping the present and the future of Africa and the globe,” Nwabufo said.
Rwanda Coding Academy was initiated with an aim of reducing importation of ICT experts in the country.