Sterling Bank, IBM, Nexford University to empower African students

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Nume Ekeghe

Washington DC-based Nexford University has announced two collaborations with IBM and Sterling Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading commercial banks.

The university says the partnerships with IBM and Sterling Bank is aimed at preparing African youths on the skills needed for today’s workforce.

Nexford University will leverage its graduate and undergraduate degrees along with the IBM Digital – Nation Africa programme – to up-skill students, including Sterling Bank employees.

IBM’s flagship skills development programme aims to accelerate Africa’s digital literacy and empower youths in the continent by developing their technology and innovation skills and addressing three major gaps: skills, innovation and jobs.

“At IBM, being a trusted company means going beyond the technology we offer. We work with key institutions, such as Nexford, to address the societal impact of digital technology; leveraging our investment education with platforms such as IBM Digital – Nation Africa,” said Dipo Faulkner, IBM Country General Manager, West Africa.

He added, “Our commitment – and our entire industry’s obligation – is to build a workforce that is ‘tomorrow ready.’”

According to the World Bank, in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, the digital revolution can increase growth by nearly two percentage points per year. When paired with stronger investments in human capital, impact across Africa could more than double, the bank reports.

Nexford has also joined forces with Sterling Bank, one of Africa’s most agile companies, to help empower bank employees to succeed in jobs of the future and master in-demand skills.

Sterling will sponsor 200 of its employees on Nexford’s online MBA degree.

“At Sterling, experiential learning is critical to enabling our most prized resource – our employees! We always look for innovative ways to support them to be the best versions of themselves,” said Temi Dalley, Sterling Bank’s Chief Human Resources Officer.

Sterling Bank Employee Scholarship recipients will learn the skills to help them advance in life, such as innovation, and global business management.

In addition to practising core business skills, learners can choose from elective courses or specialise in hot topic areas, including Sustainability, Managing Hyperconnectivity and Doing Business Across the World.

“Sterling Bank is one of our biggest employee scholarships in West Africa,” noted Olamidun Majekodunmi, Nexford’s Nigeria Country Manager.

“It further emphasises our value proposition to employers as well as our credibility in delivering workplace skills.”

Nexford has also partnered with world-leading organisations, such as Microsoft, and has built partnerships all over the world, including in Nigeria, Egypt and the Philippines.

Partnering world-leading organisations aligns with Nexford’s business model. To create its curriculum, the university conducted a research with Fortune 500 executives who employ 2.5 million people globally, and used Artificial Intelligence to analyse more than 30 million job openings. It is the most affordable American university in the world, and only teaches the skills employers are looking for.