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IBE-UNESCO Speaks on Artificial Intelligence, Robots and the Future of Africa



On June 5, 2018 at the Centre des Arts, International School of Geneva, the IBE-UNESCO held the latest session of its Learning Series. The session featured Ethiopia’s leading youth technology entrepreneur Ms. Betelhem Dessie Asnake who spoke on: ''The Future of Africa: AI, Robotics, and Education”.  Among others, she covered AI, robotics, and coding; and argued why it is essential for Africa’s education systems to include these areas in their curricula.

Her talk falls under the IBE-UNESCO’s initiative titled Fostering Future Generations of Technologists, undertaken in partnership with the private sector and targeting children and youth around the world. The initiative also seeks to nurture youth self-agency; one of the macro competences in the IBE-UNESCO’s Future Global Competences Framework.

At the age of 18, Ms. Asnake is the Project Manager of iCog-Lab’s Anyone Can Code, which teaches robotics, coding, emerging technologies and computer skills to young people in Ethiopia.

“Great opportunity exists despite the difficulties”, Ms. Asnake told an auditorium of students, teachers, peers in tech-related fields, entrepreneurs, representatives of UN missions, and the International Geneva. In particular, Ms. Asnake noted the importance of technology education. “Coding needs to be in the curriculum”, she says.

Currently based in Addis Ababa, Ms. Asnake has big plans for the iCog-Lab’s Anyone Can Code project, and is looking to expand throughout East Africa. She is also involved in a number of other initiatives, including Solve IT, which encourages Ethiopians to use technology to come up with creative solutions to current problems in the country.  

Join the IBE-UNESCO in enabling youth around the world to develop Future Global Competences for an effective and fulfilling participation in the 21st century and in Industry 4.0!