iCreate Africa Vows to Address High Youth Unemployment Rate in Africa

Gilbert Ekugbe

Worried over the alarming rate of unemployment currently at 37 per cent and counting, iCreate Africa has announced plans to equip over five million youths on the continent with vocational and technical skills.

The Founder, iCreate Africa, Bright Jaja, in a statement issued to THISDAY, said the unemployment rate has reached an unprecedented figure, stating the urgent need to tackle the high unemployment rate in Nigeria and Africa at large.

In his recent interview with CNN as he found his way to their spotlight, he said: “The goal is to get more young people in Africa to embrace technical and vocational skills without being afraid of the stereotype.”

“We identify experts and match them with aspirants who basically enroll in an apprenticeship for about 3 months to one year. Some of the trades we focus on are carpentry, graphic design, web design, and basically everything technical and vocational,” he added.

According to him, these are skills that can be learned and harnessed into something beautiful.

He understands the need for the youths of Nigeria to be self employed, saying that it is exactly why he is doing everything he can to make this vision be much more visible.

Jaja, who started iCreate Africa, in 2017, in South Africa, has successfully trained over 20,000 young people in vocational and technical skills. With his expansion to Nigeria, he targets training over 5 million young people across the continent. Now, mere looking at this, one would think it is almost impossible. But Jaja, a great lover of the youth of Nigeria, has set his mind to it and it is only a matter of time before this dream becomes a reality.

He also looks to expand to Nigeria with the aim of empowering young people in the technical sector. This expansion is heralded by an annual and vocational technical skills event dubbed ‘icreate Skills Fest.’

“I started a competition annually called iCreate Skills Fest to help change perception among youths on vocational and technical skills. We bring technicians and craftsmen together to showcase their skills in a contest, all to encourage youths to embrace skills trade as a profitable career choice. After the competition we have a skills awards night where we celebrate the winners, give them cash prize and empower them with high value tools and equipment to support their business. We also link them to jobs,” he stressed.

Jaja added: “There is a lot more up my sleeve. After the iCreate Fest, we have designed a digital platform called Skillers, a digital marketplace for hiring artisans and sourcing building materials. Skiller.ng formalizes the process of acquiring and hiring artisans in the construction industry. Next up for us is to build a skills park made up of different structures that promote technical and vocational skills from start to finish. We want young people to walk into that park without a skill and walk out with a product they created. And we want to achieve that across Nigeria.”

He is a Nigerian Entrepreneur who is building a skills ecosystem that supports technical skills training, employment and entrepreneurship.

For years, his organisation’s iCreate Africa & Skillers.ng have empowered uneducated youth from underserved communities with skills that lead to sustainable employment. This earned him a Forbes Africa 30 under 30 appearance in 2019.

Related Articles