Nigeria, Other African Countries To Participate In UNFPA’s Tech4Youth Program

Nigeria, Other African Countries To Participate In UNFPA's Tech4Youth Program

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says it wants to spend at least $8.5 million on its Tech4Youth program to reach 20 million young people in Africa with sexual and reproductive health information by 2025.

According to UNFPA innovation and technology lead Wilfried Rouamba, Tech4Youth is “an open and sustainable innovation platform supporting sexual and reproductive health on four pillars: community, co-creation, access, and data.”

Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Burkina Faso are the five West African countries where the program (Tech4Youth) is active.

Rouamba stated at a Tech4Youth workshop in Lagos on Monday that the program has already reached 2.6 million young people, including 8,000 disabled youth.

However, funding remains a major issue.

Africa’s population to reach 4.3billion

With an exploding population, Africa has some of the highest rates of child marriage and adolescent pregnancy in the world.

According to the UN, Africa’s population will reach 4.3 billion by 2100, accounting for 39% of the global total.

“If it gets the required support, Tech4Youth will “empower at least 2,700 young girls in and out of school through innovative training and mentoring to improve their digital, creative problem-solving, communication and entrepreneurship skills,” Rouamba said.

Natural language processing and artificial intelligence are also being used by the program to ensure that information is available in local languages such as Fulfulde and Hausa.

According to Rouamba, discussions on some of the tech initiatives are currently underway with tech behemoth Google.

Tech4Youth also seeks to “build at least 50 partnerships, including with the private sector, to scale the platform through an established community”.

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