• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo


Enugu partners African Leadership Accelerator to reduce unemployment, build youth capacity

The essence of follower-focused leadership

The Enugu State government has entered into a partnership with the African Leadership Accelerator (ALX) to develop the capacity of its youths and also reduce unemployment in the state by 70 percent.

Announcing the partnership in Enugu recently, Llyod Ekweremadu, Enugu State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, said that the initiative was informed by the governor’s interest in developing the capacity of the youth to compete globally and effectively anywhere in the world.

Read also: How Business Innovation Accelerator drives entrepreneurship, leadership skill

“One of the main reasons we decided to partner with ALX is their track record that they have in connecting young people across Africa with employment opportunities at some of the top Tech companies in the world and we want the youth of Enugu State to benefit from it.

“We are determined under the leadership of Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah to find key areas where the youth of Enugu State can be competitive, particularly in technology and ICT,” he said.

Ekweremadu noted that the challenge in Nigeria generally is level of youth unemployment and that one of the key targets of the partnership is to address the challenge.

“We have as a Ministry that targets to reduce youth unemployment by 70 percent by 2030 and we have identified areas where we have the most required skills and technology is at the fore front of that.

“Coming out of COVID, we realized the various opportunities that represented by this space and between then and now many startups in the tech space have emerged in Nigeria and we are trying to take advantage of this wave and ride it for the benefits of the youth of Enugu State,” he said.

He said that the state is starting partnership with Artificial Intelligence, carrier enhancement course free of charge.

“We have not maximized the potential of artificial intelligence in terms of creating opportunities for our selves, improving the efficiency of the work that we do.

“We want our young people to be competitive, ALX is partnered with Mastercard Foundation and together we are able to bring that AI course to the youth for free and we are also here to talk about all the other courses that we will continue to collaborate with ALX to bring to our young people, which would not necessarily be for free, but government would make sure that they are affordable for our young people to take advantage of them”.

Earlier, Ruby Igwe, country general manager for ALX Nigeria, said that they were invited to activate Enugu by the government, pointing out that technology is the tool that has already changed the shape of the world and that ALX is present all across Africa.

She described Artificial Intelligence as important as the internet these days, because AI has the ability to change the way we live our lives, so it is important that anybody, particularly young people are able to articulate what AI is and understand how to use AI tools out there.

“Our mission is to raise young leaders across the continent, especially in Nigeria because we are a country with the largest population in Africa, and we also have a massive youth hub across the country. With at least, half of our population between the ages of 18 and 34, we are passionate about young people we are passionate about their potentials, capacity and their competence,” she said.

The country general manager emphasized on unemployment but expressed more concern about being unemployable, saying it is one thing to not have a job, and another thing to not to get a job because of the lack of skill set and mind set.

“We are not here to offer training for training seek, training is a means for you getting a job, ALX is very relational and not transactional in that approach because we don’t just leave you after you have gotten your training, we stay with you to ensure that you get you to a place where you are fulfilled and you are also contributing to society.