Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with over 166 million people and for any nation looking for human resource and a market for itts products, this huge population plays the answer, however according to the World Bank over 22 percent of this population is unemployed and even worse, the youth unemployment rate stands at 38 per cent.
Unemployment aside, World Bank added that between 12 per cent 15 per cent of the youth drop out of school despite Universal Basic Education (UBEC), adding that 16 per cent of the youth, some over 10 million persons, had never attended school.
However there is good news.
Microsoft and the The Future Project, a development initiative founded by the Nigerian youth engagement company Red Media Africa, have today launched ‘Aiki Nigeria’, a new youth employment programme to help young Nigerians get the skills to set up their own businesses or get jobs.
According to Ugochukwu Nwosu, Citizenship Manager at Microsoft for Anglophone West Africa,“Microsoft takes its citizenship engagement as primary to its work. In working with organisations, technology enthusiasts and governments at every level, we have emphasised the crucial importance of jobs for a new generation of Nigerians. This program is a major step in leading a coordinated solution to this urgent problem.”
Aiki Nigeria has been develped closely with employers to ensure ti offers employability requirements and later, the youths can take up job openings in this firms or be matched to other firms.
Aiki Nigeria has also launched a free online skills portal and career’s advice service, aiki.ng, to reach those in rural areas. Aiki has been designed to give secondary and tertiary school students with detailed information on how to start a business, job opportunities and accessibility, career tips, capacity building and networking.
Yung Nigerians also access training sessions and courses on personal development, consulting, entrepreneurship and project management, and offers one-on-one tailored advice from personal mentors from different occupational fields and mock interviews.
Chude Jideonwo, Executive Director of The Future Project and co-founder of Red Media Africa, said,”It is our ambition that through the new Aiki Nigeria programme we can help all young Nigerians, no matter where they are, to develop the skills they need to achieve their full potential.”
Launched five years ago, the Future Project invests in enterprise and expanding opportunities for young people. The enterprise support scheme aims to work with Microsoft to better build a community of talented job seekers and help match them to job opportunities and solve unemployment and related evils.