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AFD and the Ecole Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) in Lebanon signed an agreement today to create the ESA Coding Lab, a coding school established in partnership with ITESCIA. It aims to train young promising IT professionals for job opportunities in companies that need fresh talent. It's a much needed glimmer of hope.

As the economic crisis continues in Lebanon, the IT sector represents an opportunity for young people to find work. And yet, there are companies that cannot find the right employees. An analysis carried out with the Smart ESA startup network in 2018 estimated their need for developers at nearly 200 per year and revealed that a third of startup projects are abandoned, due to the lack of developers.

One of the main causes of this shortage is the mismatch between education supply and company demand, as companies are on the lookout for a workforce specialized in application development. The creation of this school aims to meet the challenges of professional integration and the creation of a pool of IT developers who can have a lasting influence on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon. The coding school will have centers in several regions in order to make training as accessible as possible. The first regional center will be based in Nabatieh, in southern Lebanon. 

“The objective of the ESA Coding Lab is to train web developers who master all software layers, be they web interfaces (the visible part of a website) such as Javascript, HTML, CSS, or even back-end, such as database management,” explained Maxence Duault, director of ESA.

The program targets young engineering or computer science graduates seeking to develop a skill that will make them immediately employable, as well as young people with 1 to 4 years of professional experience who are seeking to switch career tracks. This enriches the possibilities offered to the youth of Lebanon, contributes to social cohesion, and helps avoid a brain drain.

“Supporting the stability of the country by helping to reduce certain weaknesses, including the social “dropout” of specific populations or parts of the territory: this is the aim of the project. It is in line with the AFD’s strategic objective of strengthening social bonds,” said Thierry Liscia, Lebanon Deputy Director of AFD.

ITESCIA, a school of the Paris Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris - CCIP), will support ESA in setting up this programming school for a period of 4 years.

Press Contact: Nada Haddad