ISTANBUL, December 22, 2023 — The "Frontier Tech Leaders" programme (FTL) celebrates the graduation of the very first cohort of the Machine Learning Bootcamp. The graduation ceremony was attended by the participants and distinguished guests to mark this remarkable achievement.
Launched at the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) conference by UNDP ICPSD and the United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (UNTB) with the support of the Government of Türkiye, the FTL aims to address the digital divide in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and inspire the next generation of tech specialists to develop digital solutions for sustainable development. The programme offers comprehensive training on Python and Machine Learning Specialization, along with soft skills like entrepreneurship and leadership while also offering the opportunity to meet the field leaders and join community events.
The graduation ceremony celebration brought together participants from LDCs studying at Turkish universities, esteemed guests from the Government of Türkiye, and programme partners. One of the top graduates, Ms. Mariam Kili Bechir from Chad, expressed gratitude and noted that: “The Frontier Tech Leaders Programme has been a turning point, and I am prepared to contribute to reshaping my community and country.”
Dr. Taffere Tesfachew, UNTB Acting Managing Director, re-confirmed the potential of the FTL graduates by saying: “Focusing on the youth in LDCs and equipping them with digital skills is key to ensuring the future development of these countries. This approach is vital for building a technologically savvy and innovative next generation.”
To demonstrate obtained knowledge and skills, the participants have developed their capstone projects addressing development issues in LDCs. The top 3 winners had a chance to present their projects to the ceremony participants and guests, featuring innovative solutions for malaria detection, crop disease identification, and breast cancer diagnosis.
Following the capstone projects presentations, Mr. Erhan Sırt, Head of Multilateral Development Cooperation Department with the Presidency of Strategy and Budget of the Presidency of Türkiye, highlighted the potential of the FTL graduates by saying: “FTL participants are ready to become driving forces for inclusive digital transformation in their home countries and beyond.”
Finally, Mr. Sahba Sobhani, UNDP ICPSD Director, congratulated FTL graduates and states: “I believe that it is your first step towards becoming Frontier Tech Leaders capable of driving digital transformation for SDGs!” Mr. Sobhani further announced the start of the Frontier Tech Leaders Programme in Djibouti and expressed his hope for the first-cohort graduates from Djibouti to join the effort.
The graduates have received completion certificates, and the most outstanding learners received special awards recognizing their dedication and accomplishments. However, their journey doesn’t end here; FTL graduates will receive mentorship from global tech companies, academia, and startups over the following months. Also, top students will have a chance to join SDG AI Lab as Data Science Fellows and contribute to local chapters' establishment.
In early 2024, the Frontier Tech Leaders Programme will announce another call for a new global cohort for the LDC students studying in Türkiye.