DAKAR, SENEGAL: A partnership encouraging young women to pursue digital careers The French development agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) estimates that 60% of Africans are now under 24 and 35% of the world’s young people will be in Africa by 2035. According to the International Monetary Fund, nearly 20 million jobs will need to be created each year in Africa to accommodate these new workers, instead of the 10 million currently being created each year.
Studies show that in Senegal, young women are the most affected by a lack of access to employment. A recent study by the International Labour Organization showed that internet access and training in information and communication technology (ICT) allow local women to start businesses, sell their products, find better-paying jobs, and access education, health, and financial services.
In response to the pressing issue of job creation, the Thales Solidarity charitable fund and Polaris Asso, in partnership with the Embassy of France in Senegal and UN Women, are teaming up to launch a new programme to help young Senegalese women pursue digital careers.
The six-month program combines the expertise of various associations to give scholarship recipients the best possible chances of entering and remaining in the labor market, either as employees or entrepreneurs, and to develop their skills as local leaders. In addition to the main program sponsors mentioned above, other organizations including OpenClassrooms, Talent2Africa, and the Senegal Youth Consortium (Consortium Jeunesse Sénégal, CJS) are also participating in the initiative.
Ousseynou Gueye, Executive Director of Polaris Asso, says the initiative is a major innovation for French-speaking Africa.
“This programme is designed to train young Senegalese women in digital technology and encourage the new talents Africa needs for its development: women with the key skills for the 21st century who are engaged citizens dedicated to addressing social issues. Through this program, we are giving them the tools they need to play an active role in the digital transition the country’s economy needs to achieve sustainable growth.”
Contributing to the digital transformation of local businesses
During their training, scholarship recipients will learn about the importance of digital citizenship and volunteer to lead digital education workshops for local middle and high school students. They will also contribute to the development of the local economy through tutoring projects and hands-on internships where they can apply the skills they learn in their training and acquire professional experience in women-led SMEs.
“Thales has made a clear social commitment to promoting the inclusion of women. We are therefore very honored to participate in this professional integration project through the Thales Solidarity charitable fund. We would like to support these young women by giving them skills and teaching them to become digital citizens so they can make a difference in Senegal and beyond. This initiative reflects the Thales purpose of building a future we can all trust.”
said, Roselyne Cartheron, Director, Thales West, and Central Africa
Launch of the first group of scholarship recipients in celebration of International Women’s Day
After selecting the first 50 scholarship recipients for the pilot phase of the program in January 2022, a kick-off ceremony was held on 28 March 2022 at the Résidence de France in Dakar.
At the event, alongside H.E. Philippe Lalliot, French Ambassador to Senegal, Professor Ismaïla Madior Fall, State Minister to the President of the Republic of Senegal, expressed the Government of Senegal’s appreciation for this program, which will contribute to addressing the critical problem of unemployment in the country.
The event, which took place under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was attended by several diplomatic delegations present in Senegal as well as Thales employees, represented by Roselyne Cartheron (Director, Thales West, and Central Africa) and Yan Levy (Director, Strategy and Business Development, Africa).
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Thales.
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