Microsoft Philanthropies has announced grants for over 100 non-profits worldwide, of which 14 are in the Middle East and Africa. These grants are a component of the $75M commitment Microsoft made to increase access to computer science education around the world through Microsoft YouthSpark, as announced by Satya Nadella last year.
Microsoft is partnering with these nonprofits by providing cash grants, content and other resources needed to bring computational thinking and problem-solving skills to young people in local communities, important building blocks to help them succeed in today’s tech-fueled economy.
“Computational thinking and problem-solving skills will be relevant to every job in the future,” says Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Through our partnerships with nonprofit organizations around the world, we aim to empower all youth to prepare for this future with the foundational knowledge of computer science to dream and create the innovations of tomorrow.”
One of these partnerships is with Silatech, a dynamic social initiative that works to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for young people throughout the Arab world. Microsoft recently partnered with Silatech to provide online employability resources to Arab youth through the Ta3mal employability platform. Microsoft is also eager to continue the partnership with World Vision, the new implementing partner of the recently transitioned TizaaWorks employability platform in Ghana.
Closing the computer science skills gap and reaching young people on a global scale is a multi-faceted challenge that cannot be solved by one organization or solution alone.
Microsoft’s partnerships with nonprofit organizations mean that more young people in the MEA region—particularly underserved communities, girls and ethnic and racially diverse populations-will have access to computer science education, helping build skills critical for future success.
One such partnership that will aid in bridging the gap in computer science skills is the Oman Information Technology Society and We Speak Code Initiative which promotes learning how to code through various activities and projects.
Other countries in the region to receive grants include Morocco, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Turkey, Kenya, Tunisia, South Africa, Oman, Egypt, Pakistan, Ghana and Cameroon.