A multi million dollar investment in Africa by four partners is aiming to “spark a child’s digital future” by giving them access to services previously unavailable.
Youth Spark is an initiative and partnership shared by Microsoft, World Vision, Intel and the British Council as part of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Global Forum and the “Shape the Future” strategy.
US$75 million has been invested by the four institutions and David Owens, from World Vision, said: “Once a child’s basic needs are met, developing digital skills leads to better jobs. These jobs have a poverty-fighting ripple effect: improved family income, community contribution and less dependency on services.
“This is why World Vision, Microsoft, Intel and British Council are teaming up to improve digital access and education for African students.”
The three primary goals for the initiative are to bring about significant technological advancements to schools in Africa, bring holistic digital access to African classrooms with infrastructure, devices and teacher training as well as to improve learning outcomes for students with regards to life skills, academics and economic opportunity.
Microsoft has already reached many with their existing 100 digital hubs in Africa, which was achieved with only US$2 million investment.
Kenya will be the first country to launch the Spark a Child’s Digital Future project early next year.
“We hope these new partnerships will enable a step-change for education around the world. Through working together, we can harness our long-developed expertise in helping young people find new educational opportunities and bring that experience to many, many more people,” said Dr Jo Beall, British Council Director of Education and Society.