A UNESCO-Huawei partnership brings an online training course on Artificial Intelligence to University Faculty Members in Eastern Africa
In the quest to improving Africa’s readiness to fully embrace digital transformation, UNESCO partners with Huawei to organize an online training course on Artificial Intelligence for University Faculty Members in Eastern Africa from 17-21 August 2020
Building the capacities and skills of a critical mass of human resources in technologies underpinning the fourth industrial revolution is crucial for Africa to fully embrace digital transformation and drive sustainable development on the continent. The UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa therefore joined hands with Huawei Technologies (Kenya) Company Limited to organize an online training course on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for university faculty members from ten countries in Eastern Africa.
This training is deemed a step in the right direction, as the World Bank has estimated that digital transformation will increase growth in Africa by nearly 2 percentage points per year and reduce poverty by nearly one percentage point in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also, UNESCO believes if young Africans are to compete for high-tech, higher-paying jobs and take advantage of increasing opportunities on the continent, then digital literacy, innovation and entrepreneurship must be at the core of continued education and training.
The week-long training (17-21 August 2020) is part of the priority areas of collaboration defined in a letter of intent signed between UNESCO and Huawei at the TECH4ALL Summit held in 2019 at Huawei Connect in Shanghai, China. The joint training program on enhancing digital skills and the application of AI should contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is an integral part of the program of equaling quality education in Huawei’s digital inclusion initiative, TECH4ALL.
At the opening of the training programme, Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, the Director and Representative of the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, emphasized the importance of building digital skills in Africa and the tremendous opportunities for technology to improve education quality and accessibility. She highly valued and recognized the collaboration with Huawei and expressed the willingness to build a stronger partnership with Huawei in fostering the use of Information and Communications and Technology (ICT) in education. She said, the need to improve ICT in education has become more evident than ever in the advent of COVID-19. Ms. Su shuqi from Huawei in her response also acknowledged Huawei’s collaboration with UNESCO and reiterated her organization’s readiness to partner with UNESCO in areas of common interest towards the SDG targets.
The trainees, totaling 39 university/college faculty members (including 12 women) from ten Eastern African countries were nominated by the UNESCO National Commissions of their countries. The training is designed to provide the most fundamental knowledge to the university/college teachers who will be able to introduce AI to their students.
Topics covered in the training include:
- Overview of AI Python Programming
- Tensor Flow Programming Basics Experiment
- Propaedeutics of Deep Learning
- Image Recognition Programming
- Speech Recognition Programming Experiment
- Human Machine Dialogue Programming Experiment
Trainees who complete full courses and clear the online certification exam shall receive a Huawei HCIA-AI certification to become certified professionals in AI.