The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has gone into partnership with the Technology for Social Change and Development, a Microsoft initiative to train 36,000 young Nigerians in digital skills over the next one year.
Nigerian Methodology Reports shows that in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, over 33 per cent of the labour force became unemployed, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend this initiative is expected to reverse.
Speaking at the signing of MOU in Abuja on Tuesday, 22 June, 2021, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare said, “We are glad that you have decided to partner with the Ministry to train our youths in digital skills. This is very important and keys into our core agenda to upscale our youths and make them employable, entrepreneurs through digital skill. We have a massive youth population, so we need to scale up the number of our youths that get trained. Technology is an enabler, graduates need additional skills to be relevant in the country and globally”.
In her response, the Executive Director, Tech4Dev, Mrs Oladiwura Oladepo said, “In alignment with our commitment to creating access to decent work and entrepreneurship opportunities and platforms for Africans through digital skills empowerment and advocacy, we are partnering with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to upskill 36,000 young Nigerians in digital skills over the next one year through the Emerging Markets Model Initiative (EMMI)”.
She disclosed that the EMMI is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder, private-public, non-profit partnership designed by Microsoft to build the capacity of key government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). This Initiative aims to offer sustainable, scalable, reskilling and employment services aligned to the local labour markets through providing access to digital skills training (from digital literacy to advanced training for young people in Nigeria between the ages of 16-35 years.
She affirmed that “The Initiative targets 36,000 youth over one year, using a virtual and physical learning approach, in various training centres across Nigeria. This would be achieved through multi-year collaboration with four strategic Federal Government Ministries and 12 state governments.
“As an organisation committed to creating access to decent work opportunities and platforms to help provide economic empowerment for youths across Nigeria and Africa as a whole, I remain a proud proponent of the power of digital skills training as a tool to achieve this. This partnership brings us one step closer to levelling the unemployment rate in Nigeria. We are committed to help youths to be skilled and to contribute to the economic growth of the country With this, we are sure there would be economic growth, she assured.”