No fewer than 2600 youths have benefitted from both the physical and virtual platforms of the digital job creation for youths scheme of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this at the Africa Youth Internet Governance Forum (AfYIGF) 2023 in Abuja on Monday.
Danbatta said this has been achieved through the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 with which the Commission has repositioned the youth for job opportunities through various initiatives.
Represented by the Head, Internet Governance Unit, New Media Information Security Department, Ibiso Kingsley George, the NCC Boss said, youth intervention programmes and projects in secondary and tertiary institutions across Nigeria through its Digital Awareness Programme and Advanced Digital Awareness Programme for Tertiary Institutions was part of the initiatives.
He identified others as: “Young entrepreneurs programme through a self-paced Online Digital Academy for Entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Through this programme, over 500 entrepreneurs were trained within a year.
“Deployment of Digital Learning platforms and supply of devices to public Schools across the six (6) geopolitical zones of Nigeria. 1,800,000 students in Federal Government Colleges were the beneficiaries of the first phase.
“Ongoing Digital Skills empowerment workshop for youth across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. This workshop targets training at least a thousand Nigerian youths on emerging marketable digital skills such as Digital marketing, entrepreneurship, internet and web development, as well as cybersecurity basics.
“Campus Innovation & Entrepreneurship Programme (CIEP) targeted at students across Nigerian Universities in their third to final years of study programme.
Digital Integration Programme (DIP) for youths below the age of thirty-five who are outside formal schools and institutions.
“Digital Skills empowerment programme carried out annually for 700 Tech youth in the six (6) geopolitical zones. Wireless Cloud and Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) are two (2) ongoing connectivity projects for tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The EVC said the Commission amongst many other initiatives, has also promoted Child Online Protection through various programmes and activities, providing direction on protecting children online.
He said the Internet Governance Forum serves as a nexus of diverse perspectives, a crossroads where governments, civil society, academia, the private sector, and technical experts converge.
Also speaking, the Chief of Technology & Innovation, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Mactar Seck, said the importance of ensuring that youths are empowered with relevant digital skills cannot be over emphasised, as the world continues to explore the use of technology.
Seck said: “This shows how important the youths are to the future of the continent. Because the economies of Africa will be driven by the youths around 2030-2050, and this kind of meeting can help to understand very well what kind of skills the youth need and what is the perspective of the youth in this digital economy era.
“As you know, by 2030, 90 percent of the new jobs will be on the digital sector, hence the need for digital governance. This is why it is very important to boost the skills of the youths on digital technology and we are happy to see several initiative around Africa evolving in this digital era.”
The representative of the AfIGF Multistakeholder advisory group, Lillian Nalwoga, said the African Youth Internet Governance Forum (AfYIGF) is a platform that brings together young experts into shaping the internet’s future within Africa.
“The African Youth IGF seeks to explore the theme of emerging technologies where we will delve into leveraging innovation for sustainable development and youth empowerment in the region,” Nalwoga stated.