In alignment with Tech4Dev’s commitment to creating access to decent work, entrepreneurship opportunities and platforms for Africans through digital skills empowerment and advocacy, the Technology for Social Change and Development initiative (Tech4Dev) has partnered with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to upskill 36,000 young Nigerians in digital and technology skills over the next one year through the Emerging Markets Model Initiative (EMMI) powered by Microsoft Philanthropies.
The Emerging Markets Model Initiative (EMMI) is a multi-year private-public-nonprofit partnership necessary to build the capacity of the key government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to offer sustainable, scalable reskilling and employment services aligned to the local labor markets.
The initiative focuses on providing access to digital skills training (from digital literacy to advance training/AI) to young persons living in underserved communities in Nigeria. The initiative will also work with government agencies to provide access to livelihood opportunities through job placement, entrepreneurship and freelancing.
It has a strong inclusive strategy to ensure women and ethnic groups are included in the digital economy.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony held in the Minister’s Office in Abuja, which had in attendance key focal point Directors in the Ministry, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, expressed his delight over the partnership stating the importance of the partnership towards the administration’s youth empowerment objectives.
“This is a welcome idea as it aligns with this administration’s youth empowerment objectives and in particular, it aligns with the Ministry’s Digital Skill Acquisition, Employability, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership initiative [DEEL], which is aimed at giving the Nigerian Youth an added advantage and a competitive edge in the global workforce,” he said.
In the same vein, speaking on the partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the Executive Director of Tech4Dev, Diwura Oladepo, said, “As an organization, we are committed to creating access to decent work opportunities and platforms to help provide economic prosperity pathways for financial freedom and economic empowerment for youths across Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Continuing, Oladepo said, “We are a proud proponent of the immense power of digital skills training as a tool to achieve this and improve livelihood. We are honored to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on the EMMI project to provide digital skills and digital job opportunities to the Nigerian youths. This partnership brings us one step closer to reducing the unemployment rate in Nigeria”.
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria has been on an upward trend over the past couple of years.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Nigerian economy suffered another coronavirus-induced setback, as the unemployment rate jumped from 27.1% as of Q2’2020 to 33.3% as of Q4’2020.
Correspondingly, the number of unemployed persons rose by 6.4% to 23.2 million as at Q4’2020 from 21.8 million as at Q2’2020.
The current unemployment rate is the highest ever, with the unemployment scourge being magnified by Covid-19 crisis. According to Statista.com, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is estimated to reach 32.5 percent in 2021. This figure is projected to increase further in 2022.