Airtel Nigeria, telecommunications services provider, has partnered with United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) to empower young people in Nigeria through the newly launched Generation Unlimited (GenU) initiative, a multi-sector partnership aimed at empowering 20 million young Nigerians by 2030 with education, skills acquisition, employment and entrepreneurship while leveraging access to digital platforms.
Speaking during the formal launch of the GenU initiative in Abuja on Monday, 26th July 2021, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, who was represented by the company’s Vice President, Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Emeka Oparah, said the initiative aligns with the telco’s philosophy of connecting, empowering and helping young Nigerians to become more productive and empowered to solve some of the most pressing problems affecting the country.
“At Airtel, we believe that leveraging on technology, digital platforms, mobile broadband and innovation can make a huge difference in creating both access and opportunities for youth even among those in the remotest and hard-to-reach locations in the country,” he said.
Specifically, Ogunsanya pledged that Airtel will support the GenU initiative by providing connectivity and access to the Internet for every school and learner by zero-rating data cost just as it will offer internship opportunities to participants as well as provide awards to some of the beneficiaries at the end of the training.
“In the long term, Airtel will fully support GenU through a partnership to develop an investment case for school connectivity leveraging our technical competence. It is our belief that through this partnership, we will go a long way to improve the skillsets of millions of young Nigerians across the country, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the Government.”
Also speaking at the event, the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, commended Airtel, the UNICEF and other stakeholders for backing the GenU initiative with a clear deliverable of providing education, skills training, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 20 million Nigerians in 10 years.
Chief Executive Officer, GenU, Kevin Frey, thanked Airtel for its pledge of providing connectivity, access, internship opportunities and awards for the programme beneficiaries, noting that the success of GenU in Nigeria is success for Africa and the world.
During the pilot phase of the programme, Airtel will focus on providing zero-rated data to support 200 schools in Lagos and Kano States.
GenU is aimed at urgently supporting expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people aged 10 years to 24 years on an unprecedented scale. The collaboration is a global multi-sector partnership that was initially launched in September 2018, in collaboration with over 200 partners. It has reached, to date, more than 100 million young people globally through innovations and programmes in more than 40 countries across six continents.