The ITU Academy Training Centres (ATCs) first annual meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 19 October 2023 as organized by the Capacity and Digital Skills Development Division, BDT/ITU. 

The event brought together representatives of 13 ITU Academy Training Centres (ATCs) which started operations in 2023, to discuss the implementation of the program, explore innovative ideas to support the work of the ATCs, and strengthen the collaboration among centers. The focus of the practical, working-style meeting was on sharing best practices from the program’s first year, stakeholder engagement, training approaches, and networking for joint activities. It also aimed to analyze implementation results to date, training course evaluation results, as well as inform on upcoming ITU Academy developments. 

Speaking at the event, ITU’s BDT Director, Dr Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava said that bridging the digital skills gap is as crucial as connecting the 2.6 billion people who are still offline. In this sense, he recognized that achieving meaningful connectivity and bridging the digital skills divide are the two main challenges that the BDT is trying to address through the ITU Academy, the ITU Academy Training Centres (ATC) and initiatives such as the Digital Transformation Centres (DTC) Initiative.

AFRALTI as one of the Academy’s Training Centers was present at the meeting represented by the Head of Training where it emphasized its support to ITU’s development priorities by strengthening capacity building and boosting technical ICT skills and proficiency, particularly in developing countries. 

During the closing of the event, Ms Sofie Maddens, Chief, a.i., Digital Knowledge Hub, Telecommunication Development Bureau delivered stressed the importance of the role which the ATCs play in bridging the skills divide and reiterated ITU’s commitment to working with the institutions participating in the programme, collaborate to connect the dots, share the resources as well as the expertise available.