Senegal: Empowering young women through digital skills

ILO’s Skill-UP project, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported the Association of Senegalese Women in the ICT/Digital Sector (FESTIC) in the provision of training to introduce 300 young women to mobile application development.

The potential of the digital economy as a driver for decent jobs and economic growth remains largely unexploited in Senegal. The country has a young population that can benefit from future opportunities in the sector and recognizes their potentiality. The implementation of the strategy "Digital Senegal 2025" that has human capital development among its main objectives, envisages the introduction of skills for the digital economy in the curriculum as early as from primary education.

On December 2019, ILO’s Skill-Up project organized, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Digital Economy and FESTIC, training sessions to introduce mobile application development to 300 young women, aged 17 to 22 and enrolled in middle to high schools. In the training sessions, they became familiar with the mobile development vocabulary, and developed and tested applications on smart phones and tablets.

In addition to the technical skills acquired, the training sessions allowed the young women to discover application development as a niche of the digital economy, and explore its prospects for future career development. Training also contributed to draw their attention to the possibilities of working in a sector that strives towards a larger participation of women.