Uganda has both the world's youngest population -- more than half of Ugandans are under the age of 18 - and the highest youth unemployment rate. To meet the needs of this exploding youth population, UNICEF and its partners are rolling out the Digital Drum - a rugged, solar-powered computing kiosk that serves as the centerpiece of a robust digital inclusion program of IT skill building, access to educational content, and youth entrepreneurship - as youth managers assume responsibility for kiosks.
According to a recent World Bank report, Uganda has both the world's youngest population -- more than half of Ugandans are under the age of 18 - and the highest youth unemployment rate. In the field of education, only 50.2% of children are competent in literacy at Primary 6 level, and drop-out rates are high, with only 64% of pupils complete their primary school. Many end up searching for job and small business opportunities without the proper training and tools to succeed.
UNICEF has adopted a two pronged approach: it partners with the Government to address the systemic challenges facing the Uganda educational system, as it provides supplementary opportunities for youth. The Digital Drum--a robust computing kiosk sourced and constructed locally, and one of Time's 50 Best Inventions of 2011--serves as the centerpiece of a program of digital inclusion to advance education, ICT skill-building, and youth entrepreneurship.
The Digital Drum is a sustainable solution to the twin challenges of providing skill building and entrepreneurship opportunities to Uganda's under-served youth, and increasing digital inclusion for youth and their communities--about 10% of whom currently use the Internet. UNICEF has plans to scale the Digital Drum program to as many as 100 sites through 2013.
Drum One of Time's 50 Best Inventions of 2011
Learn more about UNICEF's work