Delivering Connectivity, Skills, Job Opportunities to 20 million Youths by 2030

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative

Young people and leaders from across Nigeria’s public and private sectors met in Lagos this week to assess progress towards a bold plan to deliver job-related skills and livelihood opportunities to 20 million youths by 2030.  

GenU 9JA, launched by the Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last July 27 has already made important headway in providing connectivity, digital skills and job opportunities to over 300,000 Nigerian youths.

With over 65 million young people aged 10 – 24, Nigeria has one of the largest youth populations in the world, representing an extraordinary opportunity for development and growth. 

Given that the youth unemployment rate currently stands at 37 per cent in Nigeria, GenU 9JA has set ambitious objectives to equip 20 million young Nigerians, including those in underserved rural and peri-urban communities, with access to data, digital learning, job-related skills, and livelihood opportunities by 2030.

“Young people are a tremendous resource for Nigeria, and we can help realize their potential by listening to their challenges and empowering them to find the solutions,” says Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative.  

“Nigeria’s huge youth population represents a great economic potential that guarantees a sure return on investment. They also have the right to fulfil their potential and their dreams. If we get it right in Nigeria, it will make a huge difference for the African continent as a whole.” 

With over 20 implementing partners currently onboard GenU 9JA, millions of Nigerian school children and youth will be connected to the internet and have access to digital learning. They will also have access to individualized learning pathways, social impact tasks, and livelihood opportunities through the “Youth Agency MarketPlace,” #YOMA.

“This initiative is especially important to us at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, as the core of our work revolves around empowering young Africans,” said Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Africa’s leading philanthropic organisation. 

She expressed the organisation’s commitment to do this because they know that the future of Africa rests in the hands of young people.

“We want to keep playing a key part in shaping Africa’s future. We are proud to be part of this historic transformation in the lives of 20 million Nigerian boys and girls.

“The possibility for growth is truly unlimited when a large percentage of young people are well prepared to fulfil their dreams.”

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