Joy Basu, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of United States, Bureau of African Affairs, has described Nigeria’s young population as an asset to Africa and the world at large.
Basu made the remark during a visit to Vibranium Valley Tech City to discuss about the African economy on Saturday in Lagos.
She said it was important for the world to know that the young talents in Nigeria were incredible.
According to Basu, not only is the population of Nigeria so young but filled with youths who are very smart.
“These young talents have a history of unlocking economic prosperity through creativity and innovations.
“They see challenges in diverse perspective and are ready to delve into it to find solutions,” Basu said.
She said the young talented population were not only needed to solve Nigeria’s problems, but also Africa and the world.
Basu explained that such young assets should not be left unrefined, stressing that opportunities should be created for them to thrive for economic growth and development.
She noted that the U.S government recognises the immense potential of Nigeria’s young population and would continue to provide support through investment, partnership and trainings.
“We will continue to partner with Nigeria and Africa to build a better world,” she said
Basu stressed that talent discovery and development needed to be taken seriously.
On bridging gender gap, she said the U.S government had been doing a lot to support women by ensuring they had equal opportunities.
Basu noted that the U.S government was not only supporting women through access to funding, but also by ensuring that it reaches those in the underserved communities.
Basu said bridging the gap had been a challenge for both the U.S and Nigeria, adding that several opportunities through innovative programmes had been provided for women, to ensure they had equal rights.
Speaking on what Vibranium Valley Tech City had done to bridge employment gap, Mr Bunmi Akinyemiju, the Chief Executive Officer Venture Garden Group, said a lot of money had been spent to groom 1,500 talents in Nigeria.
Akinyemiju said for job creation, they had also built about 22 companies from the scratch.
He added that Vibranium Valley Tech City had invested in about 65 companies through their venture capital arm.
Akinyemiju said he believed that the growing of Nigeria Gross Domestic Product and Africa had to do with building bridges, noting that the bridge was between Nigeria and America.
He also noted that the U.S consulate had been an incredible partner in driving some of their goals of building talents.
Also, Mr Debo Omololu, the Chief Executive Officer, GetFundedAfrica, a tech-enabled marketplace, said Nigeria and other countries in the continent were going to be the workforce in the future.
Omololu explained that Nigeria, which had one of the youngest population in the world with 60 per cent younger than 45, needed jobs.
He said that to provide solutions to some the job challenges, GetFundedAfrica had partnered the Federal Government and one of the banks to provide opportunities for young Nigerians.
Omololu explained that the company uses technology to help aspiring business owners, existing businesses, job seekers and working professionals.
Omololu noted that leveraging on their partnership, they were able to get a bank to provide financing of up to $50 million to train every single person that registered under their organisation.
He explained that asides learning skills they were also given certificates to help them get jobs easily.