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DOT and IBM partner to provide digital and career skills in MEA

DOT and IBM partner to provide digital and career skills in MEA

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Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) has announced a collaboration with IBM to empower young women and men in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) with the digital skills, workforce readiness proficiencies and business knowledge needed for successful careers, social wellbeing and economic growth.

DOT will work with local organisations to help young people tap into IBM’s free Open P-TECH’s (ptech.org) career readiness curricula. The platform equips learners with competencies in foundational technologies used in all industries, such as AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity, along with professional workplace skills like design thinking, teaming, and presentations.

Together, the organisations will aim to reach at least 40,000 young people in eight countries namely Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Ghana, Jordan and Lebanon. According to the two companies, 70% of the youth will be young women.

The pandemic has laid bare the gaps and inequitable access to the digital literacy, employment and entrepreneurship skills that youth require to innovate, compete for jobs, or start businesses in a digital economy. The gender gap is extreme – with women over 50% less likely to be online than men in least developed countries where 390 million women remain unconnected. Poised to change this are IBM’s new Open P-TECH digital education platform with its potential to scale within formal and informal education systems, and the support of DOT’s network of young leaders with the facilitation, coaching and peer-to-peer talents that are critical to the effectiveness, application and retention of online learning.

Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM Vice President and Global Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, said: “Providing career skills to youth, particularly young women and those from under-resourced communities, can be life changing. With resources like IBM Open P-Tech bolstered by the efforts of organisations like Digital Opportunity Trust, we aim to advance equity and create access to opportunity.”

The collaboration brings together complementary experience and assets: IBM with its technology and business expertise and DOT with its extensive channels to youth and local community ecosystems. DOT’s research shows that young people with these skills become the leaders and contributors to the Digital Transformation of their communities, countries and economies.

Janet Longmore, Founder and CEO, DOT, said: “DOT and IBM have a history of working together and developing the mutual trust that underpins successful collaboration. This partnership, around the Open P-TECH platform, is an example of how the private sector and a social enterprise with ‘feet on the street’ can mobilise their assets to benefit youth and young women in marginalised, rural and remote communities. We share a belief that youth want opportunities to be the innovators and catalysts of Digital Transformation, shaping the future of work in an inclusive world.”

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