Evaluation of the Impact of a Six-year Capacity Building Initiative on Mobile App Development in Senegal

Christelle Scharff, Chun Hei Cheung, Jean-Marie Preira
2015 Procedia Engineering  
Africa is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world with more than 630 million mobile subscribers and the lowest mobile penetration rate at 63.9% (2014). It is experiencing an unprecedented growth in sectors such as health, education, agriculture and citizen participation thanks to mobile technology. Local developers and entrepreneurs with the right set of skills have an important role to play in the creation of mobile services solving local problems. However, very few
more » ... er, very few multi-year capacity building initiatives on mobile app development exist in the region, and universities are often slow in offering new curricula. In this paper, we present and evaluate a model of teaching mobile app development that was implemented in Senegal and used in the last six years through the MobileSenegal project. We determined the impact of this capacity building effort on participants and the Senegalese tech ecosystem by administering a survey in year five, and systematically analyzing the mobile solutions they designed throughout the years. Our findings show that participants are trained with skills that are valuable in the Senegalese job market and MobileSenegal responds to a specific need in the Senegalese tech ecosystem that is not covered by other initiatives. Further directions of MobileSenegal and its sustainability are outlined.
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2015.06.104 fatcat:jwx4qmyopbd7hivjs6bctorzm4