The Digital Nigeria eLearning Platform

October 8, 2020

Dr. Oluwakemi Olurinola provides her thoughts on the launch of The Digital Nigeria eLearning Platform.

The Digital Nigeria eLearning Platform

In 2009, Mr. Depo Oyedokun, Chair of the House Committee on Youth and Social Development made the announcement that 23 million of Nigeria’s youth “are unemployable” while presenting a bill that would require that this fact be considered in all government policy.   A decade later a similar proclamation was made by Ivie Temitayo-Ibitoye, the lead consultant at Elite Hunters: “My estimate is that 80 to 90 per cent of graduates are actually unemployable.”

In my past eight years working as a recruiter, I have discovered that the educational system has contributed to the ‘unemployability’ of our youth. In a country with a high level of unemployment this statistic means that able bodied Nigerians lack the necessary skills and qualifications that they should have received during their studies. The startling possibility that so many young women and men are not adequately prepared to enter the work force may be the driving force behind the presidential launch of The Digital Nigeria Programme on the 19th of March, 2020 as “one of Federal Government’s key initiatives that will empower innovators and entrepreneurs with skills required to thrive in our emerging digital economy”.

It is aimed at providing a platform to empower Nigerians to develop relevant skills, therefore closing the employability gap that pervades Nigerian youth. In furtherance to this was the recent partnership between the African Development Bank, the Nigerian Government and Microsoft to launch the Digital Nigeria eLearning Platform, on Monday the 28th of September, 2020.

Microsoft as part of its Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) has commited to helping 25 million people acquire new digital skills which are needed for the recovery of the economy.

The Digital Nigeria eLearning Platform is a key component of the Digital Nigeria programme, which aims to empower innovators and entrepreneurs with the requisite skills to thrive in the emerging digital economy. Within 24 hours of its launch the platform recorded over 16,000 user registrations. Nearly 6,000 of the registrants had completed at least one training course and earned a certificate.

Microsoft Partnership
African Development Bank

The platform which is aimed at providing marketable digital skills for Nigerian youth offers a range of courses in web development, content creation and data science amonst others, with content accessible via a web site or mobile app.

The platform will leverage the African Development Bank’s Coding for Employment initiative (Read the original article ) and build links between the public and private sectors to create nine million jobs in Africa’s digital economy in the next ten years.

Hopefully by the coming decade, we will see a sharp drop in the employability gap in Nigerian youth as more access to 21st century skills acquisitions are provided through public-private sector partnerships and mobile platforms.

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