World Bank set to sponsor 350 Nigerian youths on IDEAS in 2024

“In improving the local content you have to train, if you don’t have the human capacity, you cannot improve the local content."

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World Bank ,sponsorship, scholarship,  350 Nigerian youths, IDEAS, 2024
World bank

No fewer than 350 Nigerian youths will benefit from the Innovation Development and Effectiveness in Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) initiative, a World Bank supported Technology Skills Scholarship 2024.

The Founder of Gallery of Codes, Mr Oscar Ekponimo, in an interview said the Cyber School Africa, a technology driven initiative, would train the youth on digital skills and literacy through the IDEAS initiative.

Ekponimo spoke on the side-line of the orientation and inaugural ceremony  to flag off the programme on Thursday in Abuja.

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According to him, the IDEAS initiative is to harness and explore the Nigerian digital economy while enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian skills development system.”

He said the idea of the programme was to plug the unemployment gap and encourage people, especially the youth, vulnerable groups and People Living with disabilities (PLWD) to participate more in the digital economy.

Ekponimo stated that the objective of the programme was to enhance the capacity of the Nigerian skills development system to produce relevant skills for the formal and informal sectors.

According to him, the programme which will offer internship and mentorship for beneficiaries is supported by the World Bank, Gallery Of Codes and implemented by the Ministry of Education.

“The CyberSchool training programme is designed to align with the IDEAS objective and serves as a catalyst for innovation and job readiness through the acquisition of skills in emerging technologies.

“Over 350 trainees have been onboarded for the programme to be trained on User-Interface designs, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Cloud Engineering and Software Engineering and multifarious digital skills.

“This is the first cohort who will take between three to six months in these different courses and beneficiaries will be certified both by us and also by international certification bodies,” he said.

While urging young people to tap into digital skills to create solutions that will affect the society positively, he stressed that the need for possessing strong digital skills in the rapidly evolving job market, has become more than just an advantage.

“As industries embrace digital transformation and technology continues to reshape the way we work, individuals who are proficient in digital tools and technologies stand out as highly desirable candidates for employment.

“In a digital-first world, enhancing job readiness through digital skills is not just advantageous, it’s essential for staying competitive in the job market and future-proofing your career.

“I encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity for growth and upgrading your skills deposit to improve your earning capacity,” he added.

The National Coordinator, National Talent Export Program of Ministry of Trade and Investment, Dr Femi Adeloye, said the Cyber School Africa programme was very important.

Adeloye said that Nigeria could only compete globally when we have highly skilled and competent hands in the digital space.

“There are countries like India, Philippines, Bangladesh that are making a whole lot of money comparable to what we use for our budget, and they are getting it from talent export and outsourcing.

“So, if we want to be able to capture these markets they already have, we must have highly competent hands.

“I am excited about this programme, I want to thank the organisers, World Bank and Gallery of Codes for achieving this great initiative and giving this opportunity to many young people out there.

“The World Bank is gearing towards ensuring that by 2025-2030 Nigeria has a technical capacity that can be exported and also drive the human capacity development sector.”

Also speaking, Cyber School Africa (Gallery of Codes) Lead Technical Project Manager, Onisudumeya Hamilton said the IDEAS Project is geared towards ensuring that there is a fundamental level of capacity development in Nigeria.

“In improving the local content you have to train, if you don’t have the human capacity, you cannot improve the local content.

“So, the World Bank decided to assist Nigeria to see to the actualization of that goal.

“Through this programme, we are supporting the Federal Government to facilitate the goal for concomitant actualisation.

“After the first and second cohort, there will be a series of technical internships, laboratory sessions, mentorship programmes, and immersive projects which they will be working on, and at the end of the day, they will be plugged into jobs.” he added