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Infrastructure and Community Development 11 March 2022

In Ethiopia: Upgrading Youth Skills to Advance the Digital Economy

By Israel NyohFormer Communications and Outreach Manager - Africa

In June 2021, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia and the Internet Society announced a new agreement to help advance Ethiopia’s digital economy and drive economic transformation. The partnership supports the implementation of the country’s digital strategy and helps to expand connectivity to rural areas, build Internet infrastructure, and strengthen Internet governance.

Empowering Budding Network Engineers

The most critical component to building a digital economy is skilled human resources. Ethiopia has a large number of young and increasingly educated citizens, but they were lacking the necessary skills to support and participate in the digital economy.

So the Internet Society created a tailor-made course focused on training young people to set up and manage networks efficiently.

The result was the three-week-long Designing and Deploying Computer Networks (DDCN) course, which took place in Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar in October 2021. Some 27 people took part in the course, sharing practical knowledge on how to design and set up local networks, and how to develop a business around these activities.

A Hands-On Success

Yeabsira Million, a student at Beteseb Academy in Addis Ababa, didn’t have any experience with network equipment beforehand, and welcomed the opportunity to see and work with switches, cables, and racks at the training. She says she particularly enjoyed the DDCN course’s practical and hands-on approach.

Semira Moudesir, a student at Entoto Polytechnic College in Addis Ababa, adds that the hands-on learning opportunities offered by the course was a great way to encourage more women into technology. “We learned about patch panels, how we need to arrange the cables, how we configure using the different commands,” she says—unlike formal education, which she says was far about more theory than practice.

Following the course, Mulate Yazew, a student at the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, is optimistic about the future. He says he believes the skills he has learned can help him get a job and fulfill his dream of setting up his own business in the sector after three years.

The training involved tech companies, one of which recruited five trainees as interns afterwards. Others, including an IT company, a bank, and an IT college, recruited seven trainees between December 2021 and January 2022, and others promised to offer more young people opportunities to strengthen their skills.

Sign Up Now For Designing and Deploying Computer Networks

Following the success of the Designing and Deploying Computer Networks (DDCN) course in Ethiopia, we will be running it in other parts of Africa throughout 2022.

We’re running it in English, French, Spanish, so sign up for the course in your chosen language below:

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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