Empowering Youth with the Skills and Confidence to develop Mobile Apps for Sustainable Development: This project aims by 2017 to have empowered at least 25,000 young people worldwide, particularly young women, with both the high-level skills and confidence to develop, promote, and sell at least 5,000 locally relevant mobile applications (apps) that solve local issues of sustainable development, and provide self-generated, viable employment opportunities in the mobile/ICT industry.
As the global community develops the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve by 2030, this project recognizes the significant potential of smart mobile applications to achieve the SDGs especially as the next 1 billion new internet connections will be from mobile devices in the hands of young people from developing countries.
The YouthMobile Initiative builds on the experience of many worldwide initiatives that introduce young people to computer science programming (learning-to-code) and problem solving (coding-to-learn). It also seeks to build on experiences targeting young women who are vastly underrepresented in this field. Finally it builds on the consideration that for millions of young people, the smartphone in their pocket is a very powerful computer, it will be their only computer, and they use it for nearly every aspect of their lives: communicating, learning, taking pictures, and playing games.
This project wants to tell these young people that such computing power can be used for directly addressing their personal challenges or the problems faced by their local communities. The project will also emphasize that programming mobile apps can be fun, requiring different kinds of skills and idea, sharing code, making friends, and seeing the impact of your App. Eventually groups of young people can create a business or demonstrate skills for applying to IT jobs in the local, national or international market.
UNESCO focuses on promoting holistic youth development and participation in public, political and community life. The Project is in line with, and will contribute to, the UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021 .
The UNESCO Knowledge Societies Division is an acknowledged global leader in the design and implementation of Open ICT Solutions to assist Member States to achieve universal access to knowledge and agreed development goals.
This Project reflects the substantial technological, pedagogical, and project management expertise of UNESCO and has been designed in full consultation with over 20 UNESCO Field Offices. The Project has attracted significant interest from beneficiary Governments, bi-lateral and development donor agencies, and private Foundations.
The Project has been designed to fully capture the UNESCO global priorities for Africa, and Gender Equality with provisions targeting Youth from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), and Disadvantaged, Marginalized, or Minority Communities.