Senegal is one of the most stable countries in Africa, with three peaceful political transitions since independence in 1960. Positioned on the East side of the Atlantic Ocean, it surrounds its much smaller neighbor, Gambia, and borders Guinea, Mali, and Mauritania. The country’s population of over 16.7 million people is mainly concentrated around the capital city of Dakar.
Senegal registered one of the highest development rates in Africa between 2014 and 2018, but poverty and inequality remain widespread. The Human Development Index places it at 168 out of 189 countries. The World Bank reclassified the country as a lower middle-income country in 2019. The government’s effort in fighting against poverty has been reduced due to COVID-19 and the current Ukraine war.
ST Foundation’s Presence
The ST Foundation decided to bring the DU Program to the country in 2008, signing the first Convention with the ANPEJ (National Agency for Youth Employment). After 14 years of continuous presence and fulfilling experiences, we are still active in the country with the support of Concept, a Senegalese NGO that has become the Foundation’s operational arm in the region.
Through this collaboration, we operated in over 25 cities, addressing issues like the lack of local infrastructure. At the Program’s arrival in these areas, ICT tools and the related competencies were practically nonexistent. As the years went by, the organized training activities made a difference for many ICB students, who could find better jobs after attending our courses and/or continue studying computer science.
In 2018, due to the Program’s positive results, the Foundation decided to invest further in the country, bringing the T4K course for the first time to a Sub-Saharan country. The first Train the Trainer course was organized and managed by Giovanna Bottani. The goal of this initiative was to ensure the adequate preparation of this first group of trainers to cascade the initiative further.
After the first suspension period due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the activities were gradually reorganized throughout 2021, following a stable and constant positive trend.
During the worst period of the pandemic, we also implemented a multi-participant project financed by the Italian Agency for Development and Cooperation (AICS), which ended in March 2022. All details are available on the dedicated webpage.
In November, following the excellent job and commitment shown by the ST Foundation’s local partner, we decided to launch a new course in the country: the Introduction to Computer Basics Course for Visually Impaired People (ICBVI). A field mission was organized. Giovanna Bottani, Director of Operations, and Dr. Cristian Bernareggi of Milan University went onsite for the kick-off. Please visit the dedicated section for further details.
As of December 2022, almost all DU centers are regularly working, and over 159,000 beneficiaries have been reached since the DU Program’s inception.