The first summer school on ICT, organized at the Eduardo Mondlane University (Uem) in Maputo, Mozambique, took place from July 25 to August 5, 2022.
The summer school was part of ICT4Dev, an initiative funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). The initiative aims to “train students, professors and researchers in the field of ICT, and promote the implementation of innovative projects for the social and economic development of Mozambique.”
The 60-hour intensive courses included 20 hours of class and 40 hours in the lab. They focused on topics identified by the EMU Center for Informatics, in coordination with the EMU Faculties of Science and Engineering and the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering (DEIB) of the Politecnico di Milano (Polimi). Students and professors studied web development with Python and Django, mobile applications with Flutter, and data mining.
The call for participation was a success. More than 200 people applied to the courses. About 10% were female applicants. 30 applicants per course were selected, with a total of 62 students taking part in the three courses: Web development, Mobile applications, and Data mining. The limited participation by female students reflects their low enrollment levels in computer engineering courses.
At the opening ceremony of the Summer School, held on July 25 at the EMU Innovation Space, Paolo Enrico Sertoli, director of the AICS office in Maputo, emphasized how the ICT4Dev initiative aims to contribute to providing students with useful skills to access an increasingly competitive labor market.
The support offered by AICS through the funding of Ph.D. and master’s scholarships aims to foster the creation of innovative solutions by Mozambican students, researchers, and teachers. Creating synergies with other Aics-funded initiatives in the same sector will facilitate digital skills spreading, particularly for women.
During the same ceremony, the Rector of EMU, after thanking AICS for its continued support to the university, expressed confidence that after the training received as part of the summer school, the students will be able to put the skills they have acquired to use. He recalled that the EMU Strategic Plan 2018-2028 aims to transform EMU into a research university.
Digitization is acrucial challenge for emerging economies. The ICT4Devproject aims significantly contribute to Mozambique’s economic and social development in terms of job creation.