JA Africa Empowers Youth for ICT Jobs

Ugo Aliogo
The Junior Achievement Nigeria with support from Google.Org is providing young Nigerians the opportunity to gain in-demand ICT skills to prepare them for the job market.

A statement from JA Nigeria stated that with the grant funding of $400,000 from Google.org, JA Africa would provide scholarships, instructional support, and wraparound support for 1,500 vulnerable and marginalised minority youths between ages 18-35 across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

The statement also noted that students enrolled on the programme would have up to one year to complete the IT support professional certificate hosted on Coursera.
According to the statement: “The pandemic has disrupted the traditional workplace and companies are pursuing technology to adapt to the new normal. According to World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, COVID-19 has sped up the disruption of jobs caused by the technological changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“This new reality means that companies demand a labour force with the requisite skills to adapt to this new dispensation. JA Africa’s recent survey on Youth Employment in the Africa private sector showed that 83 per cent of Africa’s youth expect the African private sector to grow in the next five years however 93 per cent of them are concerned about the disruptive nature of the pandemic.

“Furthermore, 93 per cent of the youth believe their education and skills need to be updated in the upcoming years to adapt to ever-changing labor market requirements.”

The statement noted that Africa’s youth are the continent’s richest resource with a rapidly growing population which is expected to reach 830 million by 2050.

The statement further explained that youths would be the driving force for the continent to reach its full potential, “supporting youth skills development will be key to maximising youth potential to propel economic development on the continent.”

On her part, the Chief Executive Officer, JA Africa, Simi Nwogugu, expressed excitement about the new grant from Google.org.

She said: “I’m grateful for the support of Google.org in accelerating the work we are doing to skill up Africa’s youth for employment. This partnership will not only provide employment to 1,500 youths but it will also benefit the thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises who are struggling to adapt to post-COVID digital requirements by placing affordable and highly trained IT support staff with them who can help them develop digital resources for their businesses. I look forward to the tremendous impact this will have on the economies of Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

“Thanks to the grant from Google.org, JA Africa will target youth populations with priority given to youth from low socio-economic backgrounds and marginalized communities including at least 50 per cent women. The programme will skill up youth for ICT jobs as well as fuel innovative thinking to accelerate digital enterprise creation.”

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