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Cameroon's first AI training centre launched

Cameroon's first AI training centre launched

Cameroon's first Artificial Intelligence (AI) training centre has been established through a partnership between state-owned telecommunications operator Camtel and the Unversity of Yaounde I.

Judith Yah Sunday Achidi, General Manager of Camtel and Prof. Maurice Aurelien Sosso, Rector of the University of Yaounde I have committed to the FCFA 1.3-billion project.

The training facility will be hosted by the University's National Advanced School of Engineering (Polytech) in Yaounde which already houses a high-tech 3D printing centre.

The project also covers the construction of learning infrastructure, the procurement of training equipment, training of trainers, a curriculum design, as well as learner scholarships – all of which is scheduled to be fully operational within two-and-a-half years.

As part of its digitisation strategy, Cameroon has stipulated a target to multiply the number of direct and indirect jobs in ICT by 50, by 2020.

Achidi said establishing the training resource aligns with government's vision to digitise the economy, develop and introduce the relevant skill sets..

She added that the centre will run research and development postgraduate programmes with market related portfolios.

The intention is to improve the employability of job-seekers "through transformative education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, research, innovation and creativity needs required to nurture the future of the AI sector."

"We envisage training one hundred at the start. Twenty-five percent of the pioneer students will benefit from fully-funded scholarships offered by Camtel and its partners on the one hand, and the University of Yaounde I, through Polytech, on the other hand," Achidi continued.

She noted that the project will position Cameroon "among the movers and shakers of AI training on the continent."

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