Out with the old school. Digital storytelling in sub-Saharan Africa

Initiatives such as UNICEF Gen2030, which aims to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030, are helping to fill the gulfs of learning in sub-Saharan nations by supporting the talents, openness to innovation and energy of Africa’s young people.

Selected by local UNICEF communications staff for their interest in filmmaking and their passion for youth advocacy, 11 motivated individuals from countries including Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique, were taught how to make short factual films using Android smartphones – with the help of Thomson Foundation trainer, Kate Middleton.


In partnership with UNICEF, the foundation is helping to bridge the learning gap in digital storytelling among young Africans


The workshops were held in Johannesburg, South Africa, over the course of five days. 

From coming up with original ideas that highlighted issues of importance to young Africans, learning how to research stories that could safely and ethically be made into films for social media or broadcast, and learning how to pitch these stories to potential commissioners, the group were given a valuable introduction to digital storytelling. They were also encouraged to pitch for films aimed at a UNICEF campaign in November, with the foundation supporting the making of these films.

"They are already passing on their knowledge to other young people in their communities"

Kate Middleton, Thomson Foundation trainer

Above all, they were being prepared to pass on their new digital skills to others in their communities. “All students completed the course with the ability to make short films using Android smartphones and other equipment,” said Kate. “They will be encouraged to develop their story ideas further and are already passing on their knowledge to other young people in their communities.”



Creating a skilled cohort of young people is at the heart of the Gen2030 initiative
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