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Nairobi, 22 Jan 14
UN-Habitat has partnered with University of the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, BC, Canada)to develop the Eminus Academy.

To be delivered by the UN Habitat Youth Fund, the Academy is aimed at youth development for offering a series of mobile courses globally. The applied pilot courses are to address critical issues in sustainable development: youth led vocational training; social enterprise development and use of mapping and social media tools.

Lack of a basic education contributes to unemployment. The actual problem is not simply lack of education, but lack of linkages between education and work; linkages which urgently need to be built.

The Youth Fund is therefore providing project coordinators with skills in project management, financial management and M&E through the regional training sessions. Research and feedback shows also that the knowledge the project coordinators are receiving through the training sessions has increased the capacity of both the youth managers and the organizations. The Youth Fund wants to expand its knowledge and capacity building programme through technology to educate and increase the capacity of the Youth Fund recipients to a greater extent. The increasing of the capacity and enhancement of skills to grassroots youth and youth-led agencies in the developing world is the main rationales for the e-learning programme.

The conceptual framework for the pilot is modeled on United Nations’ pillars of open learning, or education for all, leading to sustainability, peace and development.

With Cloud Berry Technology, as its technology partner, Eminus Academy will run its mobile course through a tablet platform. This means that students will develop their entrepreneurial skills through a pre-loaded online educational program.

The program sponsored by BASF Foundation, will inspire youth, who will gain, will be provided to inspired youth, who will gain training and insights through a series of course relevant topics, such as: project management, evaluation, community mapping and sustainable development.

On completion of the course, Eminus Academy will offer certificates through its partners, promoting the integrity and value of such education.

According to course leader and urban planner, Cherie Enns (University of the Fraser Valley) the goal of Eminus Academy is simple: “To create an entrepreneurial and sustainable development applied certification program that is interactive and dynamic (in essence a virtual global classroom), using state of the art digital media.”

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