College of Science, Engineering & Technology

Appy days ahead for these ten talented young people

The College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) Information Communication and Technology for Development (ICT4D) Flagship in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) commemorated Youth Day on 16 June 2017 by launching the Mobile App Development Programme in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga, in an endeavour to cultivate skills to combat youth unemployment.

The CSET ICT4D Flagship, CSIR and Siyabuswa Community representatives

ICT4D Chairperson Prof Hossana Twinomurinzi, ICT4D Vice-Chairperson Dr Vincent Horner, and Chairperson: Strategic Liaison ICT4D Flagship Mokateko Buthelezi facilitated the grand launch alongside the Senior Manager of the CSIR unit for Defence, Peace, Safety and Security (DPSS), Dr Jackie Phahlamohlaka. Additional CSIR representation in attendance were Zama Dlamini, Linda Malinga and Sipho Ngobeni. Stalwart ICT4D Flagship members, Siphe Mhlana, Motselisi Chere and Faith Chauke, a master’s student at Unisa, were there to support the launch. Community representative Princess Ntombizodwa Mahlangu, a PhD student at Unisa, was also eager to show visible support of the programme.

The initiative was sparked earlier in the year in a meeting with the Municipal Manager of Dr JS Moroka Municipality, Benny Mahlangu, who challenged Unisa academics to participate in alleviating the problem of youth unemployment in the area. The CEO of the Siyabuswa Educational Improvement and Development Trust (SEIDET), Vusi Ndala, and Horner have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to put together a project that will prepare ten unemployed youth to participate in an upcoming Hackathon.

Selected to participate in the Mobile App Development Programme are five males and five females who show remarkable potential and youth from the Siyabuswa community itself. This initiative, ultimately, requires that the tools provided to the community youth further enable them to promote reciprocal facilitation of skill enhancement. The programme, designed to promote a much larger project, will see the ten initially selected participants evolve into trainers for an envisioned SEIDET Digital Village in Siyabuswa.

*Submitted by Cecile Koopman

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