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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nigeria joins African countries with Skills Initiative programme

Nigeria is now the fifth African country to launch Skill Initiative programme in partnership with NEPAD Agency, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Skill Initiative, NaijaAgroNet gathered, has the goal to strengthen the occupational prospects of young people, especially for women and youth from poor areas.

Other initial implementing countries include Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia.
Speaking on behalf of the Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, the Permanent Secretary of Cabinet Affairs, Mr. Roy Ugo, commended the programmatic interventions of the NEPAD Agency on the continent, particularly in Nigeria.

Ugo also said that the Skills Initiative for Africa programme is timely and aligns with the current administration’s Change Agenda, to create economic opportunities in the country, especially amongst the youth.

He pledged Nigeria’s support to the programme to ensure that it produces the desired positive effect on the employment sector.

Mrs Estherine Lisinge-Fotabong, NEPAD Agency’s Director of Programme Coordination and Implementation, informed attendees at the launch that the programme is informed by the need to address skills gap on the continent. In her opening remarks, she pointed out that there is a disconnection between education, training systems and the labour market.

“Therefore, it is incumbent upon the continent to think differently and come up with skill sets that could fill the employment opportunities, create entrepreneurs, as well as provide mentorship to trainees, so that the can effectively succeed in businesses after vocational training,” Mrs Fotabong said.

The launch of the Skills Initiative for Africa programme was co-hosted by NEPAD Nigeria under the leadership of Hon (Princess) Gloria Akobundu, the National Coordinator/ CEO of NEPAD Nigeria.
Speaking, Princess Akobundu explained that the Skills Initiative for Africa presents an opportunity for the missing middle of society to actively engage in the economic activity of the country, through gainful employment and entrepreneurship. She called on Nigerian youths to make good use of the opportunity provided by the initiative.

The launch, which was followed by a consultative workshop to identify the country’s priority for the programme, was attended by various stakeholders from both private and public sectors, including: Nigerian high level dignitaries, senators, members of the National Assembly, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and civil society organisations.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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