As part of effort to get youth engage in the development of their skills to the benefit of their life and the country at large, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, a social enterprise that connects Nigerian youth with ICT-enabled opportunities has launched digital jobs – an online platform where young people can showcase their skills, render services to the world, and get paid for it.
Digital Jobs Africa is a Rockefeller foundation initiative that aims to impact one million lives in six countries in Africa by catalyzing sustainable ICT-enabled employment opportunities and skills training for high potential but disadvantaged African youths, thereby generating social and economic opportunities for those employed their families and communities.
The initiative is built on the shared recognition to allow Africa’s economic growth continues, the digital economy will have a net positive impact on jobs and income generation, particularly for youth.
Africa’s leading firms, development institutions, and governments are all exploring ways to generate employment opportunities for the millions of disadvantaged youths who are marginalized from the formal workforce each year.
Speaking at the event, the former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwensili urged the participants at the launch to take the advantage of the digital job very seriously as it the way where the world is heading to now.
According to her, “we are now in a knowledge economy where your main knowledge is not sufficient to keep you revolving and to give young people the opportunities to be productive in their niche. This sector is what will make Africa settle but it would not happened simply by the rhetoric of theories”.
“Your degrees do not confer any special advantage to you any more, wheresoever’s you graduated from is just to set your mind for the foundation to be enlightened. You must have the capacity to master adaptive challenges, your capacity to master adaptive challenges is what makes you to look at what is before you and to mobilize the necessary resources to solve the problem that is before. Nation that have understood what ICT can do for them have been able to produce graduates that would not be a burden unto them but set of graduates that can take absolute responsibilities to develop their minds” she revealed.
Ezekwensili urged the founder of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Gbenga Sesan to ensure that the project is institutionalized to award diploma certificate to anybody that participates in the training exercise.
The Partnership Manager for Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana, Emmanuel Oluwatosin gave insight to how young people can take advantage of the initiative,
According to him “digital jobs is an opportunity for young people not only to earn money but to automatically improve their skill. I could remember when I was in school doing my MBA, I was earning money doing IT job for people. That kind of job does not need your physical present but with just your computer and internet access”.
Oluwatosin urged everybody to take up the challenge, “even if they don’t have the skills now they can actually learn it. What they just need to do is to set their mind unto it and say this is what I want to learn, just pick a niche and say to themselves that this is what I want to focus on and try to be the best”, he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Yomi Adegboye who is also a participant at the event said he had been a digital worker all through his adult life.
“I am a graduate of architecture but I have not practiced. As at the time I graduated, I have never used a personal computer but after school, I saw opportunity of going to cyber café to learn html, web design and management so since then I have worked almost all my life in this industry” he revealed.
Adegboye further reveled that apart from speaking, he writes code, design, create content and said that digital jobs is a way forward.
“If I could achieve what I achieved with limited resources and now that we have Rockefeller foundation and PIN Nigeria to help us sharpen our skills, I think we can achieve the best in life”, he said.